Columbia adjusts disinfectant; water may taste, smell different

An annual change in the way Columbia Water and Light disinfects water could affect its taste or smell for some customers.

Columbia Water and Light customers may notice a slight change in the taste or smell of their water beginning tomorrow.

The city will change the way it disinfects the public water supply for about the next three months, removing ammonia in favor of free chlorine. According to Columbia Water and Light, for most of the year, a small amount of ammonia is added to the water to kill bacteria, but for a few months, free chlorine is used to combat nitrates that promote bacterial growth in distribution pipes.

During this time, Water and Light says the water quality will remain the same, meeting all EPA standards for disinfection. Customers may notice a slight chlorine odor during the first day or two of the switch.