Fairfax Water is warning customers ahead of time that it is spring hydrant flushing season.
Each spring, Fairfax Water flushes its water mains by opening fire hydrants and allowing them to flow freely for a short period of time.
For most of the county, this will start in late March.
So why the funny smell and taste? In the spring, Fairfax Water slightly changes its water treatment process, switching from using combined chlorine to free chlorine. Free chlorine is quicker acting than combined, which allows it to react with sediments suspended during flushing, officials said in a release.
The chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water happens while free chlorine is washing its way through. Flushing also may result in temporary discoloration and the presence of sediment in the water, Fairfax Water.
But the water is still safe to drink.
“If you are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine, try keeping an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator,” says Fairfax Water. “But remember, drinking water has a shelf life! Change out the water in your refrigerated container weekly.”
If you have questions about this program or the work being conducted in your area, call Fairfax Water at 703-698-5613.