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Due to current flooding of the Mississippi River, Burlington Municipal Waterworks is using higher levels of chlorine disinfectant to treat the water than under normal river conditions. During flooding conditions, there are higher levels of organics in the river. This is caused from large rain runoffs and/or higher than normal temperatures causing rapid snow and ice melts up river.
This is done in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Iowa Department of Natural Resources regulations. A disinfectant has always been used to kill harmful bacteria/viruses in the water to protect public health and ensure that it is safe to drink.
As the river level gradually drops, and there are no large fluctuations in the levels, we should be able to lower the chlorine disinfectant to a more normal range which should lessen the taste and odor issues.