Does your water smell?

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Chlorine flush to blame for smell, color

If your drinking water smells like chlorine or is cloudy, it is because of a preventative safety measure being taken by Bossier City and other municipalities.

City officials said the water is safe to drink. The smell and water cloudiness are caused by a chlorine burn to disinfect water that began Feb. 21 and is scheduled to continue for 60 days.

Residents took to the Bossier Press-Tribune’s Facebook page to express their dismay at the smell and taste of their tap water. Many said it had only occurred over the past couple of weeks, corresponding with the timeframe of the chlorine burn.

Staci Morgan Fayard said, “YES! It’s been that way in Carriage Oaks for about two weeks. Refuse to drink it!”

Earlier this year the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued statewide orders aimed at eradicating and preventing brain-eating amoeba, known as Naegleria Fowleri, in municipal water systems. The change in water treatment by Bossier City is in response to the agency’s directive.

“Our water is safe,” said Bossier City public information officer Mark Natale. “There has never been an instance of the amoeba being in Bossier City water. This is just a safeguard.”

Usually, Bossier City disinfects drinking water with chloramines, which are created by combining chlorine and ammonia. Free-standing chlorine is a stronger and faster-acting disinfectant,so that is being used for approximately 60 days to disinfect city water and to flush out the city water system.

Since Bossier City sells water to Benton and some residential and commercial customers outside the city limits, other areas of Bossier Parish are also affected by the temporary change in the treatment process.

Officials suggest running water through the tap until the discoloration or chlorine taste or smell disappears.

Although the water is safe to drink, officials caution discoloration of laundry is possible during the time just chlorine is being used to treat the water supply. Cleaning additives are available at stores to help prevent or remove any discoloration.