Water System "Chlorine Burn" Scheduled for February

Water System "Chlorine Burn" Scheduled for February

January 31, 2024

In February, Belton tap water may taste and smell slightly different as the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 (BCWCID1) temporarily converts the disinfectant in its water treatment process from chloramines to free chlorine, a process commonly referred to as chlorine burn.

This temporary conversion, scheduled to take place Feb. 1-28, 2024, is part of routine maintenance for the water transmission and delivery systems. Free chlorine conversion helps maintain water quality and minimizes nitrification. This is the second annual conversion by the BCWCID1 water system, which also provides drinking water to several other entities, including Fort Cavazos, Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Harker Heights.

Disinfection keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. It typically involves a two-step process that first treats the water at the treatment plant and then adds chloramine disinfectant (chlorine + ammonia) to maintain water quality. During the temporary change, BCWCID1 will suspend adding ammonia and use free chlorine to keep water disinfected as it travels through pipes.

BCWCID1 is coordinating this temporary change with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and local entities. BCWCID1 continues to meet safe drinking water standards earning recognition from TCEQ as a Superior Public Water System.

FAQs: Drinking Water Disinfection and the Free Chlorine Conversion Process