You may notice a difference in the taste and smell of your DC area drinking water. Here’s why.

You may notice a change in the taste and smell of your drinking water if you live in the D.C. area.

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority says that from February 20 through May 15 the disinfectant in drinking water will temporarily switch from chloramine to chlorine.

DC Water officials say they purchase treated drinking water from the Washington Aqueduct. They say each year, the Aqueduct switches disinfectants from chloramine back to chlorine to clean the water distribution system and improve water quality.

During the switch, DC Water officials say they will also conduct a system-wide hydrant flushing to enhance water quality.

Washington Aqueduct officials say they will add a corrosion control inhibitor during this temporary switch to prevent lead release.

DC Water recommends the following to reduce the taste or smell of chlorine:

- Run the cold water tap for two minutes. Run it for five to 10 minutes when water is not used for several hours.

- Refrigerate cold tap water in an open pitcher. Within a few hours, the chlorine taste and odor will disappear.

- Some filters may reduce the chlorine taste and smell. DC Water recommends using devices that are installed at your faucet tap or pitcher-style filters. Use a filter certified to meet NSF standards and replace the filter as recommended by the manufacturer

Officials also say that if you take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water - you can continue to take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine.

Individuals with special health concerns are asked to consult a health care provider on the use of tap water.

You can call 202-612-3400 for more information or visit DC Water online.