If you live in the D.C. area and your tap water tastes or smells a little different it’s likely because officials at DC Water have temporarily changed the disinfectant in the drinking water from chloramine to chlorine. The shift, which begins today and continues through May 2, is part of the utility’s annual program to keep the water distribution system in D.C., Arlington County and Fall church free of potentially harmful of bacteria.

DC Water officials say individuals and business owners who already take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water should continue to take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine.

Officials say try running the cold water tap for approximately two minutes and refrigerating cold tap water for a few hours to reduce taste and odor. Water filters are also effective in reducing chlorine taste and odor.

For more information, please contact the appropriate water authority for your jurisdiction: DC Water: 202-612-3440 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) or 202-612-3400 (24-hour); Arlington County: 703-228-6570 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or 703-228-6555 (24-hour ); Falls Church City: 703-248-5071 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or 703-248-5044 (24-hour)