OWASA resumes disinfection of drinking water with chlorine and ammonia

OWASA has resumed the use of a compound of chlorine and ammonia (“chloramines”) to disinfect drinking water.

With the use of chloramines, there should be minimal or no chlorine taste and odor noticeable in OWASA’s water.

OWASA uses only chlorine for disinfection in March each year to ensure a high level of disinfection in the water system.

“We thank our customers for their patience during our annual change to chlorine in March,” said Ken Loflin, OWASA’s Water Supply and Treatment Manager. “We know that the chlorine is noticeable to our customers in March and part of April, and we assure our customers that this annual change in disinfection is needed to ensure high quality, safe drinking water.”

Background information

Chlorine is a more intense disinfectant than chloramines, but chloramines result in lower levels of certain disinfection byproducts that would be harmful at high levels.

OWASA has used chloramines for disinfection since 2002 in months other than March.

In March, OWASA kept the chlorine level in drinking water between 0.2 and 2 parts per million, in accord with standards under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. One part per million is like a penny in $10,000.

For more information

Ken Loflin, Water Supply and Treatment Manager, 919-537-4232 or kloflin@owasa.org

Monica Dodson, Water Treatment Plant Operations Supervisor, 919-537-4205 or mdodson@owasa.org