What is the purpose and/or benefit of a free chlorine conversion?

The City of Sugar Land’s main water system uses chloramines for disinfection. Chloramines are a better long-term choice for systems on surface water because they produce lower levels of disinfectant byproducts like trihalomethanes when chlorine mixes with natural organic substances in water. However, prolonged use of chloramine coupled with other factors that can affect water quality, such as high temperatures, may result in the growth and/or persistence of organic matter within the pipes of the distribution system.  Though harmless when consumed by humans, this organic matter can introduce unwanted taste and odor, and hinder the ability to maintain an adequate disinfectant residual. A temporary conversion to free chlorine, partnered with flushing activities, clears distribution pipes of this organic matter and improves the quality of your water overall.

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1. What is chloramine?
2. What is free chlorine?
3. What is a free chlorine conversion?
4. What is the purpose and/or benefit of a free chlorine conversion?
5. Are free chlorine conversions a common practice among water systems?
6. How long will the free chlorine conversion last?
7. Does the free chlorine conversion pose any health risks? Will the water be safe to drink and use?
8. Will my water taste or smell different during the free chlorine conversion?
9. Are free chlorine and chloramines harmful for dialysis patients?
10. Why all the flushing?
11. Could I see a drop in water pressure due to hydrant flushing in my area?
12. Can hydrant flushing in my area cause cloudiness or sediment in my water?
13. Will pool owners need to treat water differently?
14. What does this mean for aquarium and pond owners?
15. How can I remove chlorine from my water?
16. Is the free chlorine conversion associated with the coronavirus?
17. Is the free chlorine conversion a result of the water issues the city experienced during the winter storm in February?
18. Where can I learn more about drinking water disinfection and free chlorine conversions?