PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois American Water is warning home and business owners in the Peoria area on Thursday of changes they might see while it starts its annual maintenance program.

According to the company, Illinois American, over the next month, will be flushing its water mains and fire hydrants.

The water company will be flushing fire hydrants to make sure they are in working order in case of fires. While the flushing is taking place, customers will likely see a drop in water pressure and possibly some discolored water.

If water is discolored, customers should refrain from doing laundry, and let the cold water run, so it can clear up on its own.

While hydrants are being flushed, the water quality team at Illinois American Water will be temporarily changing its water treatment to a form of chlorine called “free chlorine,” which does not contain ammonia.

The free chlorine is considered a stronger disinfectant and is being used to help clean the water mains and hydrants. Customers may notice the water has a more chlorine taste and smell while the change is in effect.

The changes are expected to affect Peoria, Bartonville, West Peoria, Rome and surrounding areas. Affected homeowners will be contacted. Additional information is available on the Illinois American Waters website or by calling its customer service center at (800) 422-2782.