Skip to main content

Columbia Water Addresses Potential Taste and Odor Concerns in Drinking Water

By July 8, 2020No Comments

Columbia Water customers in central Columbia and Forest Acres may have noticed a chlorine taste and odor in their tap water beginning in the afternoon of July 7, 2020. This was due to a brief interruption of the addition of ammonia to the disinfection process at Columbia Water’s Canal Water Treatment Plant. The ammonia feed was quickly restored and operations returned to normal within two hours. The water is and has been safe to drink throughout the interruption.

There is always chlorine present in your City water, but the absence of the ammonia made the chlorine noticeable. Columbia Water routinely chlorinates the drinking water provided to its customers throughout its water distribution system in order to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

The normal procedure is to chlorinate the water with a combination of chlorine and ammonia, or chloramines, in order to enhance its disinfecting capabilities. A side benefit of the combination of chlorine and ammonia is that it makes the disinfection process odorless and tasteless, so that the taste and odor associated with chlorine is not noticeable in the drinking water.

Columbia Water regrets any unpleasant aesthetic effects our customers experienced and apologizes for the inconvenience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Customer Care team at 803-545-3300 or by email at