BELL COUNTY, Texas – The Bell County Water Control and Improvement District #1 public water system, which provides water service to the cities of Belton, Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and the Fort Hood Military Reservation, will temporarily convert the disinfectant used in the distribution system from chloramine to free chlorine.

The conversion will continue through Sunday, November 21. During this period, residents might experience taste and odor changes associated with this type of temporary disinfectant conversion.

Public water systems are required to properly disinfect their water and maintain an adequate disinfectant residual in the distribution system. Chloramine, free chlorine combined with ammonia, is widely used as a disinfectant because it persists for long periods while also limiting the formation of disinfection by-product contaminants.

Prolonged use of chloramine coupled with other factors which can affect water quality, such as high temperatures or stagnation of water, could result in the growth and/or persistence of organic matter within the pipes of the distribution system – which might hinder the ability to maintain an adequate disinfectant residual.

A temporary conversion to free chlorine, partnered with flushing activities, helps to rid distribution pipes of this organic matter and improve the quality of the water overall.

Bell County Water Control and Improvement District #1, along with several cities in Bell County, have chosen to implement a temporary disinfectant conversion to free chlorine based on the following:

Lower than normal disinfectant residuals were observed in parts of the Killeen service area. Subsequent investigation by experts from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality Optimization Program revealed nitrification is likely occurring within parts of the Bell County WCID 1 system. A free chlorine conversion is recommended as a necessary first step toward correcting the disinfectant residual issue.

The annual water quality reports are posted online at

If you have questions, you can contact the Harker Heights Public Works Department at 254-953-5649, Public Works at 254-953-5641, Harker Heights City Manager David Mitchell at 254-953-5600 or the City of Copperas Cove’s Water Distribution Department at 254-547-2416.

Sources: Bell County Water Control & Improvement District No. 1, City of Harker Heights, City of Copperas Cove