GCWA Thomas Mackey Water Treatment Plant – Annual Chlorine Maintenance 2022

Galveston County WCID 12, PWSID: 0840031, will temporarily convert the disinfectant used in the distribution system from chloramine to free chlorine. The conversion will begin on Monday, 4/11/22 and continue through Monday, 4/25/22. During this period, you may experience taste and odor changes associated with this type of temporary disinfectant conversion.

The temporary change from a combination of chlorine and ammonia (chloramine) to free chlorine helps to prevent taste and odor problems that can occur during the hottest months of the year. Free chlorine conversions are a common industry practice for preventative maintenance in drinking water distribution & transmission systems. Many utilities throughout the state and country that use chloramines for their primary distribution disinfectant periodically convert back to free chlorine to improve and maintain the highest water quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) endorse and support this procedure.

As part of the disinfection process, municipalities will flush their systems by opening fire hydrants. Water users may notice some water discoloration or cloudiness. These conditions are harmless and temporary and should be remedied by fire hydrant flushing.

The chlorine maintenance process has not been linked to any adverse health effects. Customers may notice a slight chlorine taste or odor in the tap water for a short period during the change. The water is safe to drink, to use for cooking, to bathe in and for other everyday uses. During this period, we will sample and test our water to monitor the effectiveness of the temporary modification. Once the free chlorine disinfection process is complete, we will return to the chloramine disinfection.

This temporary change in our treatment process is performed in accordance with State and Federal drinking water regulations. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates water quality, has approved this method for routine maintenance of potable water distribution systems.

Special Note

Owners of fish and reptiles should follow standard water treatments using products that remove both chlorine and chloramine from the water.

Dialysis centers will continue to treat the water to remove all chemical disinfectants, including chlorine and chloramine, before the water is used for dialysis. Home dialysis users should consult their machine manufacturers for instructions on how to properly treat their water before use.

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