Chlorine Taste and Odor in Water

City of Lancaster drinking water customers can have absolute confidence that their drinking water continues to meet or exceed all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act standards and regulations. Some customers have reported a stronger chlorine taste or smell in their drinking water, however water remains safe for consumption and all other uses.

The Water Bureau’s water quality team is working to resolve this temporary, aesthetically-related condition in the water and has adjusted its treatment process to alleviate the issue. The stronger chlorine smell is the result of the recent snow and ice melt that has increased the volume of water in the Conestoga River. This has produced an increase in organic compounds. Organic compounds are removed through the treatment process. Higher concentrations, combined with our disinfection process, can result in the development of various taste and odors, including a stronger chlorine smell or taste in the water. The water is safe for consumption and use. The chlorine residual in the finished water leaving the plant, remains the same. There is not more chlorine in the water; rather the chlorine smell and taste are a byproduct of disinfecting the water and removing the organics.

Filling a pitcher and letting it stand without a lid for a couple hours will typically dissipate a chlorine smell.

To speak with water quality personnel, call (717) 291-4818.