Monday, May 11, Greensboro, along with Archdale, Burlington, High Point, Jamestown, Randleman, Reidsville and the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority, began the process of switching back to using chloramines to disinfect drinking water.
On March 9, Greensboro and the other cities announced that they were switching from chloramines to chlorine as part of a “routine water quality preventative maintenance program.”
Greensboro switched from chlorine to chloramines in 2011 in order to comply with more stringent drinking water regulations that went into effect.
Chloramines are a chemical combination of chlorine and ammonia used together and the use of chloramines is recommended because it lowers the level of disinfection byproducts that are produced when chlorine reacts with organic matter in the water.
Periodically, the systems are switched back to chlorine to maintain the safety of the drinking water and optimize the water quality in the distribution systems.
If you didn’t notice the switch to chlorine in March, you probably won’t notice the switch back to chloramines, which began on Monday, May 11 and will take about five days to complete.
But changing the disinfectant can cause a temporary difference in color, odor and taste. If there is discoloration, the water resources department recommends that you leave the tap running for a few minutes and it should go away.
Both chlorinated and chloraminated water are safe for drinking, cooking and general uses. People with fish tanks and pond owners should take precautions with the switch back to chloramines because it may require adjustments to the filtration and treatment systems.
Medical facilities that offer kidney dialysis also may have to make adjustments because of the change from chlorine back to chloramines.
Those with additional questions can check out this web page: https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/water-resources/water-system/frequently-asked-questions
Or you may call the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safe drinking water hotline at 1-800-426-4791.