Smell, taste of Tampa drinking water could change due to lack of liquid oxygen available

Local News
Filling up a glass with drinking water from kitchen tap_197175

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa residents could experience a slight difference in taste and/or odor of their drinking water due to a change in the city’s water treatment method.

According to the Tampa Water Department, it will temporarily change its water disinfection process starting Thursday to chlorine due to the lack of liquid oxygen being delivered to the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility.

The water department said the drinking water will continue to meet all local, state, and federal regulations and remains safe to drink.

City officials say the water department uses liquid oxygen “to create ozone, a powerful disinfectant that is added to the water to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other organisms.” Liquid oxygen is currently in very high demand, however, at local hospitals due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a press release, the Tampa Water Department said it will now change its primary disinfection method to chlorine and will continue to use chloramine (a mix of ammonia and chlorine) for secondary disinfection as usual.

This new method may cause residents to experience a slight difference in taste or odor.

Hillsborough County made a similar announcement Wednesday, notifying residents of the treatment change. Tampa Bay Water said it would alter its water treatment to use sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, instead.

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