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Water in Bell County smells like bleach, Killeen resident believes it made his dog sick

Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-16 14:51:18-05

KILLEEN, Texas — When I turn the water on at my home in Killeen, it smells like a swimming pool.

Like me, other Killeen residents are concerned so I spoke to some of those people and pressed the water an explanation.

For the past couple weeks Thomas and Rabecca, who asked me not to reveal their last name, have noticed a strong bleach smell coming from tap water at their home in Killeen.

”I can smell that now,” said Thomas. “Yeah i can still smell the chlorine in coming out of my bathroom.”

Water he told made his new puppy Hope sick

”It was a continual vomiting all day Saturday and she didn’t have the energy that she had,” said Thomas.

They took Hope to the vet and was told she got sick from the chlorine in the water so I went down to the water district to ask questions.

Speaking to WCID General Manager, Ricky Garrett, I asked, “So what’s going on right now? Is it the annual conversion that you guys do to clean out the system?”

Yes, it’s something we started a couple of years ago after we had the big issue with nitrification,” said Garrett.

This is when they put a chlorine only mixture into the water to clean in out the system.

Those chlorine levels need to leave there facility at 4.0 or less and that is what Garrett said is happening.

”The samples that I have seen are around 2.5 to 3.0 at the customer take points,” said Garrett.

Slightly lower than the numbers found at Thomas and Rabecca’s home.

”They had done the chlorine level test at the fire hydrant at 3.5 parts per million and at the residential, they’re are 2.7 parts per million,” said Thomas.

Thomas told me his family does not watch the news or get the paper so they didn’t know about the conversion treatment until Hope got sick.

They get their city updates from Facebook and together we went through the page.

The City of Killeen shared information about the annual conversion in January and again earlier this month.

Thomas and Rabecca told me they plan to ask the city to cover the vet bill and want more information and regular updates put out on social media for folks like them who don't watch the news.

WCID services other cities across Bell County, such as Belton, that are also going through this annual conversion and might smell bleach when they turn their water on.