Free Chlorine Conversion 2023

There will be a temporary change in the way we treat your water.

The city will temporarily convert the disinfectant used in the water treatment process from chloramine to free chlorine. The duration of the free chlorine conversion will be approximately 30 days and will begin on April 4, 2023. The city will return to chloramine disinfection on May 2, 2023.

This change only applies to the main city water system that receives treated surface water. It will not affect customers in Riverpark, Greatwood, or New Territory, as those water systems are independent and already on free chlorine at all times.

What to expect during the temporary change

Generally, there are no noticeable changes in water quality as a result of this temporary conversion. However, some individuals may notice taste and odor changes and a slight discoloration to the water, primarily during the transition period. Noticeable water quality changes associated with conversions are normally short-lived and are not public health risks.

Is the water safe during this change?

The water will be safe for people and animals to drink, for cooking and bathing, watering the garden, and for all other common uses.  

However, people and businesses that normally take special precautions to remove chloramines from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities, and aquatic pet owners, should confirm whether pretreatment adjustments are necessary during the temporary switch from chloramines to free chlorine. 

At the conclusion of the conversion period, which will occur on May 2, the city of Sugar Land will convert its disinfection process back to chloramines.

Why is this necessary?

Sugar Land’s main water system currently uses chloramines (a combination of free chlorine and ammonia) to disinfect its drinking water supply prior to customer distribution. This is a reliable disinfection process that has been recommended by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for systems treating surface water such as the city’s main water system. 

It is standard industry practice to periodically convert chloramines back to free chlorine to improve and maintain the highest water quality standards. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the TCEQ support this process as a necessary and effective measure for maintaining water quality.  

The city will implement directional flushing, combined with routine water quality monitoring to maintain the highest water quality for customers during the conversion.


Water quality data during the conversion

During the chlorine conversion, city staff will test samples throughout the main water system for free chlorine. The city's target free chlorine residual is between 0.5 to 3.5 milligrams per liter(mg/L). 

Chlorine Levels Map Coming Soon!

A map that will enable you to check current chlorine levels in your area is coming soon.

Map Coming Soon

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

More FAQs

Additional educational resources

Hear from the H2O Pros

Back in 2021, Public Works Director Brian Butscher (formerly Deputy Director) and Surface Water Plant Manager John Bailey explained the city's temporary conversion of the disinfectant used in the water treatment process from chloramine to free chlorine.

This video was recorded in 2021, however, the discussion and information provided is relevant to the 2023's free chlorine conversion process.