Temporary Disinfectant Conversion from Chloramine to Free Chlorine
January 4, 2023

The Bell County Water Control & Improvement District #1 (BCWCID1), public water system, (PWS) ID TX0140016, and the City of Harker Heights, public water system, (PWS) ID 0140023, will temporarily convert the disinfectant in its water treatment process from chloramines to free chlorine. The conversion is scheduled to take place Wednesday, February 1, 2023 through Tuesday, February 28, 2023. This is the first annual conversion to be conducted as part of routine maintenance for the water transmission and delivery systems. Free chlorine conversion is an accepted and recommended step by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to help maintain water quality and minimize nitrification. During this period, you may experience taste and odor changes associated with the type of temporary disinfectant conversion.

Disinfection is a critical part of the water treatment process that keeps drinking water free of harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Disinfection involves a two-step process that first treats the water at the treatment plant and then chloramine disinfectant (chlorine + ammonia) is added to maintain water quality. During the temporary change, BCWCID1 will suspend adding ammonia and use free chlorine to keep water disinfected as it travels through pipes.

BCWCID1 and the City of Harker Heights are coordinating with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) staff and local entities to implement a temporary disinfectant conversion to free chlorine to maintain the system and water quality. BCWCID1 and the City of Harker Heights continue to meet safe drinking water standards earning recognition from TCEQ as Superior Public Water Systems. The annual water quality reports are posted online at and

Please share this information with all people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (i.e., people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

If you have questions regarding this matter, you may contact:

Harker Heights Public Works Department at 254-953-5649
Mark Hyde, Public Works Director at 254-953-5641 or
David Mitchell, City Manager at 254-953-5600


Press Release January 4, 2023



The City of Harker Heights receives its water from the Bell County Water Control & Improvement District No. 1 (WCID). WCID #1 is the regional water supplier for the following customers; City of Harker Heights, City of Killeen, City of Belton, City of Copperas Cove, Fort Hood, Bell County WCID #3 (City of Nolanville), Belton Outdoor Lake Recreation Area (BLORA) and the 439 Water Supply Cooperation.

WCID will convert its disinfection process from chloramines to free chlorine for a period of approximately one month beginning February 1, 2023 and will end on February 28, 2023.

Generally, there are no noticeable changes in water quality because of this temporary conversion. However, some individuals may notice taste and odor changes and a slight discoloration to the water.

WCID #1 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 predominantly treating surface waters, such as those in the Harker Heights 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 potable water distribution systems. 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, as measures to maintain the highest water quality for customers during the conversion. Some discoloration may still make it into customer service lines despite the City’s efforts. Customers who experience discoloration should temporarily flush faucets, tubs, and toilets, until the water has cleared. Clothing should not be washed during times of discoloration to reduce the possibility of staining. Prior to washing clothing, customers may want to run a little water in a bathtub to check for discoloration.

Noticeable water quality changes associated with conversions are normally short lived and are not public health risks.

Customers can safely consume and use their drinking water as normal during the conversion period. However, dialysis patients should consult with their physicians prior to the conversion to ascertain whether pretreatment adjustments are necessary for their dialysis equipment. Most dialysis equipment has already been outfitted with charcoal filters that remove free chlorine and chloramines; however, customers should check with their doctor as a precautionary measure.

The City of Harker Heights has notified local hospitals and dialysis clinics in advance so that they can implement process changes if necessary.  Those conditioning water for fish or aquariums may also need to make changes to their water pre-treatment process.


The Texas legislature recently passed H.B. 872 which amended the Texas Utility Code to make utility customer information confidential by default. Residents do have the right to disclose your information under the Public Information Act to a specific person and / or to the public by completing a Request for Disclosure of Information Form and returning it to the Utility Administration Office. This form can be found on our website or obtained in the Utility Administration Office and returned by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by dropping off at 305 Miller’s Crossing, Harker Heights, TX 76548

City of Harker Heights

Providing public services that empower people to focus on what matters most: their goals, hopes, and dreams.


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305 Millers Crossing
Harker Heights, TX. 76548