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September 15, 2014

City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering
Public Utility Division performs Water Quality Maintenance Flushing

The City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering Public Utilities Division Drinking Water Operations Branch will temporarily modify the disinfection process used in some areas served by our Southeast Water Purification Plant.

Typically, chlorine in combination with ammonia (chloramination) is used for water system disinfection. Starting September 29, 2014 and through all of October 2014, the City of Houston will be using chlorine without the ammonia.  This temporary change to free chlorine disinfection and increased flushing is to maintain the condition of distribution piping to help ensure the continued delivery of superior quality drinking water to customers.  The areas served by this plant include the zip codes: 77034, 77058, 77059, 77062, 77075, 77089, 77504, 77546, and 77598.

Customers may notice a slight chlorine taste or odor in the tap water for a short period during the change.  The water is safe to drink, to use for cooking, to bathe in, and for other everyday uses. During this period, we will sample and test our water to monitor the effectiveness of the temporary modification. Once the disinfection process is complete, we will return to the chloramination of water.

This temporary change in our treatment process is performed in accordance with State and Federal drinking water regulations.  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates water quality, has approved this method for routine maintenance of potable water distribution systems.

Users of home kidney dialysis machines, owners of tropical fish aquariums, and managers of stores and restaurants with fish and shellfish holding tanks are advised that the methods for testing and removing free chlorine residuals differ from those used for chloramine residuals.  Both types of residuals if not handled properly may affect users of kidney dialysis machines, as well as fish and other aquatic animals.  We encourage customers who may be affected by this change to seek advice from professionals.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please call 311 or email

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Council Members: Brenda Stardig • Jerry Davis • Ellen R. Cohen • Dwight A. Boykins • Dave Martin •
Richard Nguyen • Oliver Pennington • Edward Gonzalez • Robert Gallegos •
Mike Laster • Larry V. Green • Stephen C. Costello • David W. Robinson •
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