The North Texas Municipal Water District will temporarily change the disinfectant in its water treatment process from March 6-April 3, according to a district news release.

The smell or taste of chlorine disinfectant may become more noticeable to North Texans during the maintenance period. The district recommends several steps to minimize the smell, taste or skin sensitivities to chlorine including placing a pitcher of water in the fridge overnight or adding a slice of citrus to the water.

The district performs this routine every year in order to maintain year-round quality for its customers, according to the news release. Its service area includes McKinney, Frisco, Plano and Richardson, according to its website.

Disinfection is a two-step process meant to keep drinking water free of harmful microorganisms such as parasites or viruses. Water is treated at the treatment plant before a chloramine disinfectant composed of chlorine and ammonia is added as it travels through pipes to homes and businesses.

During the temporary change, the district suspends adding ammonia and uses free chlorine to keep water disinfected as it runs through the pipes.

“Protection of public health and keeping our water safe is a top priority,” said Zeke Campbell, assistant director for Water Treatment and Conveyance, in a statement. “This common maintenance practice is an essential step in our advanced year-round treatment and disinfection process and does not increase the amount of chlorine in the system. The water remains safe to drink and use every day, and we continue to meet or surpass safe drinking water standards.”

Cities and districts served by the water district can help move the chlorine-disinfected water through the system by flushing fire hydrants, according to the news release.

The North Texas Municipal Water District provides water, wastewater and waste management services to more than 2 million people located throughout 10 counties in North Texas, according to its website.