Are there any disadvantages to a free chlorine conversion?

Properly conducted free chlorine conversions can often cause the water to have a different taste and/or odor than when using chloramine for disinfection. Customers will likely be able to notice the difference, but there are no health effects associated with the change in taste/odor. Once the water system has returned to using chloramine as the disinfectant, the taste/odor of the water will return to normal.

There may be an increase in the level of disinfection by-products being formed during this short time. Health concerns related to disinfection by-product formation are based on prolonged exposure, and the conversions typically only last two to four weeks at a time. Limited scientific studies following shorter-term exposure to disinfection by-products have been published that did not find any association between exposure and dermatitis (skin rashes). There have been a number of other studies that investigated maternal exposure to disinfection by-products and birth outcomes (such as small-for-gestational age infants) following shorter-term exposure to disinfection by-products2. Evidence in epidemiological studies looking at exposures to disinfection by-products above 80 ppb and pregnancy outcomes is mixed and limited by study shortcomings. Regulatory agencies worldwide continue to evaluate possible associations between disinfection by-products exposure and pregnancy outcomes. Reduction of disinfection by-products may be desirable, but it should never compromise effective disinfection.

Show All Answers

1. Why is drinking water disinfected?
2. What are the drinking water disinfection requirements in Texas?
3. What is chloramine?
4. Why is my public water system using chloramine?
5. What are disinfection by-products?
6. Is chloramine safe?
7. What is a free chlorine conversion?
8. Why is my water system conducting a free chlorine conversion?
9. Are there any disadvantages to a free chlorine conversion?