Unusual odors, tastes could hit Pflugerville water users during cleaning procedure

Unusual tastes, smells, colors and particles could be present in some Pflugerville residents' tap water while Manville Water Supply Corp. conducts a water system cleaning procedure throughout the month of October, according to a news release.

There should be no health risks associated with the procedure and the work should improve water quality, the news release states.

Areas of Pflugerville that will be affected by the procedure, which is called a "chlorine burn out," include Reserve at West Creek, Avalon Commons at Rowe Lane, Royal Pointe, Highland Park, Highland Park North, Springbrook, Pfairway Park, Pflugerville Heights, Spring Trails, Springbrook Glen, Springbrook Enclave, Blackhawk, Estates of Blackhawk, Fairways of Blackhawk, Lakeside at Blackhawk, Meadows at Blackhawk, and Park at Blackhawk subdivisions, according to the news release.

The process should rid the area's water system of unwanted compounds and constituents.

The procedure should "eliminate any nitrification in the distribution system," Manville Spokeswoman Rexanne Pilkenton said. Nitrification is a process in which microbes and bacteria turn ammonia, or other nitrogen compounds, into nitrite or nitrate. Nitrification can lead to some issues in a water system including an increase in certain bacteria and lower pH levels, according the Environmental Protection Agency report "Nitrification." Pilkenton said nitrification can lead to a build up of nitrates that exceed the state standards. The burn out should also flush out certain metals from the water system, Pilkenton said.

Manville normally disinfects the area's water system with chloramine, which is chlorine combined with ammonia. During the October "burn out" the water supplier will use free chlorine, which lacks ammonia, as the disinfectant, the news release states.

Pilkenton said Manville would also be flushing out the system using valves throughout the water system to keep water moving well and remove the chlorine treatment from the system.

The flushing can cause metals such as iron and manganese to dislodge from pipes. Manganese, which is naturally occurring, can alter water taste and color, the news release states.

Pflugerville officials will monitor disinfectant levels continually during the procedure, the news release states.