EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville Water and Sewer Utility (EWSU) are temporarily switching the disinfectant used in the water treatment process from August 15 – October 3. Officials say you might notice a slight change in the taste or odor of your tap water. EWSU does this switch twice a year. The last switch was May 16- July 5.

Here’s what you need to know about the change from officials at EWSU. Reports say the switch from the regular disinfectant used, Chloramine, to Free Chlorine is a standard maintenance practice used as a preventative to keep water mains free of potentially harmful bacteria. Free Chlorine and Chloramine are both safe and effective for both people and animals to: bathe, drink, cook with, and other standard uses. The switch between the two disinfectants denies bacteria the ability to form a resistance to either the Free Chlorine or Chloramine.

What’s the difference between the two according to the EWSU?

Free Chlorine is a more potent disinfectant compared to Chloramine, and is used proactively to remove or prevent tougher, more resistant bacteria that could be found in the water distribution system. Free Chlorine also produces byproducts that need to be regulated by the U.S. Protection Agency which costs more than using Chloramine.

There are some people and businesses who have to take precautions with Free Chlorine. Free Chlorine must be removed from water used in kidney dialysis machine. EWSU officials report they have informed the medical community of the switch and advise dialysis patients to contact their doctors or dialysis centers for more information. Tropical fish owners will need to use a water conditioner to remove Chlorine, Ammonia and Chloramine from the water as Free Chlorine is toxic to fish.

Chloramine, is made up of chlorine and ammonia. It is put into drinking water to remove bacteria and viruses. EWSU reportedly has been using chloramine in their water treatment process since 1999. Compared to Free Chlorine, it has less of a noticeable odor, is more cost effective and remains longer

According to the EWSU, all drinking water will always be regularly monitored to ensure drinking water meets or exceeds federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards.