New Jersey American Water has announced that part of its annual maintenance program for its water distribution system, it will temporarily change the water treatment process.

The temporary treatment process will begin the week of Feb. 7 and continue until the end of April. The company will switch its chloramine residual process to free chlorine residual at the company's water treatment plants.

The company said during this period, some customers may notice a slight taste and smell of chlorine in their water. But this is normal and will only be temporary until the system maintenance is complete, they said.

"We perform this distribution system maintenance program every year as an added measure to further disinfect the pipelines in our distribution system," said Matthew Csik, director of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance at New Jersey American Water.

Any customer who wishes to reduce the taste of chlorine can place water in an uncovered glass container in the refrigerator overnight to dissipate chlorine faster.

The temporary treatment change applies to New Jersey American Water customers in the following communities. (Communities with an asterisk purchase water from New Jersey American Water.)

Essex County: Irvington, Maplewood, Millburn

Hunterdon County: Flemington Borough*, Raritan Township, Readington Township, and Tewksbury Township

Mercer County: Hopewell Borough*, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township*, Princeton Borough, Princeton Junction, Princeton Township, Trenton*, and West Windsor Township

Middlesex County: Cranbury Township, Dunellen Borough, Edison Township, Jamesburg Borough, Middlesex Borough, Monroe Township, North Brunswick*, Piscataway Township, Plainsboro Township, South Brunswick Township and South Plainfield Borough

Morris County: Chatham Township, Florham Park Borough, Long Hill Township, Mendham Township Mendham Borough

Somerset County: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville Borough, Bound Brook Borough, Branchburg Township, Bridgewater Township, Far Hills Borough, Franklin Township, Green Brook Township, Hillsborough Township, Manville Borough, Millstone Borough, Montgomery Township, North Plainfield Borough, Peapack & Gladstone Borough, Raritan Borough, Rocky Hill*, Somerville Borough, South Bound Brook Borough, Warren Township and Watchung Borough

Union County: Berkley Heights Township, City of Rahway*, Clark Township, Cranford Township, City of Elizabeth (Liberty)*, Fanwood Borough, Garwood Borough, Hillside Township, Kenilworth Borough, Linden City, Mountainside Borough, New Providence Borough, Plainfield City, Roselle Borough, Roselle Park Borough, Scotch Plains Township, Springfield Township, Summit, Union Township, Westfield Township and Winfield Park Township*

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