Smelly Water on Tap Due to System Flushing

It will still be safe, but you'll smell more chlorine starting Monday.

A change in chemicals used to sanitize the Central Jersey water supply done annually to flush out the water system will cause many of New Jersey American Water Co. customers to notice a stronger smell of chlorine, beginning Monday, the company said.

The company performs an annual pipeline maintenance program by switching from using cloramine—ammonia and chlorine combined—to "free" chlorine to sanitize the water. The higher concentration of chlorine means a more noticeable smell to the water, but the company says it will not be harmful.

The maintenance is scheduled to continue through February and will affect customers served by the company's Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant in Bridgewater and the Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset. Areas served by the plants include Bedminster, Bridgewater, Cranford, Green Brook, Hillsborough, Lawrence, Martinsville, Millstone, Mountainside, Princeton, Scotch Plains, South Brunswick and Westfield.

There are several ways to reduce or eliminate the taste or smell of chlorine, including boiling water, or storing it in an open container in the refrigerator overnight.

A glass of tap water can be made more enjoyable with a slice of lemon or drops of lemon juice to cover the chlorine smell.

Diane Eisen January 06, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Has anyone noticed a white film on dishes after washing in the dishwasher lately? We have Nj American water here in Green Brook and this has just started to occur with my dishes and several neighbors. We all use Finish rinse aid on a high enough setting and Cascade detergent. I have to put vinegar in now to prevent the film. We are thinking the water may be the culprit - it started happening at about the same time for all of us.
BillBalls January 06, 2013 at 06:03 PM
It is the Cascade. They were forced by the US government to remove phosphate from their dish washing detergent in several states, but not here in NJ. Regardless they decided to remove it across their entire product line, so now there is no phosphate in your dish washing detergent, and if you have hard or even slightly hard water, you will get a white film because of that. I'm guessing your stores just ran out of the old phosphate type, and now you are using the no phosphate formula. You can try changing to Finish dish washing detergent; I think it still has phosphate in it, add your own phosphate back into your cascade (if you can figure out how to do that) or use a product called Lemishine, which you used to be able to pick up in Walmart for $3.99 a bottle, but now-a-days you’ll part with $6.99 a bottle, and you’ll be lucky to find it! Uncle Sam Strikes Again!!!!
Dawn D'Angelo January 07, 2013 at 01:34 PM
mrsp January 07, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Bon Appetite!
mrsp January 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM
In case your message is for real, I am compelled to add a bit of context. 1. Phosphates are bad because they are highly effective at killing all marine life in fresh and salt waters except for red algae -- fishermen don't like this, not to mention other humans (not to mention marine life!). 2. Chlorine, and chloramine, are both disinfectants -- but they also cause cancer in humans. Don't you already see too many "Conquer Cancer" license plates on cars in NJ? I sure do! I'm glad to see some ire over this issue on Patch -- but might I suggest that the fight here is for cleaner water -- not more smelly and harmful disinfectants! I was raised thinking of our water systems as a dump, suitable for chlorine, Drano, along with food disposal, medicine and anything else that fits in the toilet or sink. Now Christie is trying to bring a new business to NJ -- Pennsylvania and Ohio used frack liquids. I urge folks to get informed and check out EWG.org for more info about protecting our water and not letting big companies laugh in our faces and make us think that drinking bottled water is normal.


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