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The water may taste funny: GBRA Port Lavaca plant set to switch to full chlorine treatment

June 23, 2011 at 1:23 a.m.


The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority will temporarily substitute chlorine as the disinfecting agent in the drinking water treatment process in place of its regularly used chlorine/ammonia compound, known as chloramines, at the GBRA Port Lavaca Water Treatment Plant.

This action will begin on Monday and will last 21 days, after which the plant will resume the use of chloramines, Herb Wittliff, manager for Port Lavaca operations, stated in a news release.

Chlorine and chloramines are used as disinfecting agents for drinking water to safeguard finished water against bacteria that cause water-borne illnesses, Wittliff said.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recommends periodically substituting chlorine alone to provide more stability to the disinfecting process and remove any excess ammonia that might have accumulated in distribution systems over time.

As part of the process, the three wholesale customers of GBRA - the City of Port Lavaca, the Calhoun County Rural Water System of GBRA and the Port O'Connor Municipal Utility District - will monitor the disinfectant residual in water mains and increase flushing activities to provide a more efficient change-out of the water.

"Some customers may notice a slight change in palatability or taste of the water, said Stephanie Shelly," GBRA chief operator. "There also may be a slight discoloration of the water due to flushing, but the water will remain safe and available for all domestic purposes."

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