Columbia to change water disinfection method this week

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COLUMBIA - The drinking water will start to taste a little different in Columbia starting Wednesday. The city is changing its disinfection method from chloramine to chlorine.

Connie Kacprowicz, spokesperson for Columbia Water and Light, said the city first started to switch the disinfection method during summer since six year ago. It's needed because of seasonal changes in nitrogen compounds (primarily ammonia).

She said, while there's no health concerns at all, some people might be able to taste the difference.

"The weird thing is, when you don't put a little tiny bit ammonia in there, you actually have a stronger and chlorine taste and smell,"  Kacprowicz said.

The switch is scheduled to start on Wednesday at 7:30 am.

Kacprowicz said there are a couple of ways to deal with the chlorine tastes.

"If you use additional filters, just make sure you change that. For most people if it tastes strong, the best way is just to put it in a larger pitcher and then drink from them,"  Kacprowicz said.

She said the switch will affect all Columbia water customers. And the city will go back to the chloramine disinfection method in fall.

The switch during summer times is recommended by the Department of Natural Resources.