VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Several Hampton Roads cities' drinking water may have a slightly different taste for about a month.

Virginia Beach City Manager David Hansen announced his city, along with the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and the county of Isle of Wight, will switch the disinfectant used in the drinking water system from chloramine to free chlorine, beginning March 7 and lasting until March 28.

Public Utilities Director Robert Montague explained in an inter-office memo that the change is part of routine maintenance that is often used on chloramine water systems. Montague said the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition is alerting dialysis patients of the change, although the process used to neutralize chloramine is the same as neutralizing free chlorine. This is also the same process for aquarium owners.

Some customers may notice a slight change in taste and odor during the switch over.

Once the cities revert to using chloramine on March 28, Montague said it may take a few more days for the free chlorine to completely be replaced.

Announcement of chlorine water switch