Why the water may taste, smell funny for D.C.-area residents

WASHINGTON — Are you tasting something off when you pour a glass of water at home? Does your shower smell like a swimming pool?

The people who supply much of the region’s drinking water say don’t worry.

Water officials in the D.C. region are alerting customers that they may notice a slight change in the taste and smell of water coming from their taps as part of a routine program to clean the drinking water system.

Officials said in a statement that they will change the disinfectant in drinking water temporarily from chloramine to chlorine, resulting in the change in taste and smell.

The switch begins today and will continue through May 2 in the Washington Aqueduct, which supplies water to D.C., and Arlington County and Northeastern Fairfax in Virginia.

Think of it as “spring cleaning” for pipes.

If the odor is too much for you, officials have offered a workaround: Run your tap for about two minutes or use a water filter. Letting a pitcher of water sit in the fridge for a couple of hours also helps.

The Associated Press and WTOP’s Rich Johnson contributed to this report

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up