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Illinois American Water this week began its annual maintenance program, which may result in a slight drop in water pressure or some discolored water for a short period, the company said.

illinoisamericanwaterlogoThe work includes testing and flushing fire hydrants in addition to a temporary change in water treatment.

The work is done to help ensure continued water quality and fire protection to homes and businesses, the company said. It will occur across the Metro East water distribution system for the next two months.

Any customer experienced the water pressure or water color issue should refrain from doing laundry and let their cold water run briefly. The water should clear up on its own, Illinois American said.

A water quality team will be switching treatment to a form of chlorine known as “free chlorine,” which does not contain ammonia. This stronger disinfectant is typically used by water utilities when flushing water mains and fire hydrants. Chlorine is commonly used in public water systems as a disinfectant.

During the temporary treatment change, customers may experience a more noticeable chlorine taste or odor in their water, but there is no reason for concern. This is due to the switch in chlorine types.

Institutions with additional water purification filters for special needs, such as hospitals and dialysis centers, have been contacted about this work and are aware of the treatment change.

Anyone with questions about home health care equipment should reach out to their health-care provider.

The maintenance program will occur in all direct service communities in the Belleville, East St. Louis and Granite City areas and also sale‐for‐resale (wholesale) communities. Customers are being notified of this work via media outreach, customer calls and information on Illinois American Water's website at www.illinoisamwater.com. Information is also provided to customer service center representatives.

For additional information, customers can visit www.illinoisamwater.com or contact Illinois American Water’s customer service center at 1 (800) 422‐2782.