City water to undergo annual maintenance

Brian Cuaron

May 6, 2011 at 12:06 a.m.

Dialysis patients and aquarium owners need to be aware of a planned cleaning of Victoria's water system.

The city uses chloramines to disinfect its water. However, it will use free chlorine from May 20 to June 17 as part of an annual maintenance measure.

Since the city's water supply comes from surface water, it uses the weaker disinfectant chloramines to prevent the formation of trihalomethanes, a carcinogen. Those particles form when decaying materials in surface water, like leaves, mix with free chlorine, Lynn Short, director of public works, said.

He said the trihalomethanes are only a threat when a person is exposed to them for a long period. Residents won't be in danger because of the short-term maintenance involving free chlorine, he said.

The temporary switch to chlorine may cause the water to taste a little earthy or musty, Short said. Yet that has only been a problem when the city switched to surface water in 2001.

Councilman Tom Halepaska is heavily involved in the city's water projects. He said that once water is treated properly, it is good to drink.

Dialysis patients should contact their health care provider about changing their pretreatment process during this time, according to a city news release. Aquarium owners may also need to change their water treatment process.



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