Keeping residual chlorine at a certain level in tap water is effective not only in improving sanitary conditions but also in suppressing the regrowth of microorganisms and preventing the formation of biofilms on the internal surface of distribution pipelines. However, in our recent survey about customer satisfaction, over 50% of the customers were not satisfied with tap water for drinking. One of the main reasons for the dissatisfaction was the odor or taste caused by the disinfection process. We therefore investigated the behavior of residual chlorine in the water distribution network by estimating the chlorine decay coefficients, and discussed measures to decrease the unpleasant odor while maintaining the effect of disinfection. The effective measures are shortening of retention time, replacement of aged pipes, corrosion control of distribution and service pipes, removal of organic substances in water, additional chlorination at water-supply stations, and improvement in water supply facilities with receiving tanks. By adopting these measures, and setting the target value of residual chlorine at representative water taps, we successfully controlled residual chlorine at the outlets of purification plants or water-supply stations by application of the decay coefficient of chlorine in each water distribution system.

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