Drinking water in D.C. and parts of Northern Virginia could have a different smell and taste because of a different water treatment process between March 7 and May 2. (Bigstock)

Drinking water in the District and parts of Northern Virginia could take on a slight smell and taste of chlorine between March 7 and May 2 because of a temporary change in the water-treatment process, D.C. Water officials said Wednesday.

The change will come when the Washington Aqueduct, which supplies drinking water to the District and Arlington and northeastern Fairfax counties, switches its disinfectant from chloramine to chlorine for six to eight weeks to flush out the water distribution system and improve water quality, the utility said. The aqueduct makes the temporary switch once a year, like many suppliers of drinking water that regularly use chloramine.

Running the cold water tap for about two minutes and refrigerating tap water will reduce the chlorine taste and odor, officials said. Customers who remove chloramine from tap water, such as dialysis centers and medical facilities, should continue to do the same to remove chlorine, the utility said.