In response to questions about chlorine used in treatment process, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) officials assure the public that the processes used to treat and maintain the safety and quality of the district’s drinking meet federal and state standards. NTMWD is conducting a temporary 30-day proactive system maintenance process that is accepted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The maintenance period ends March 26.
During this period, residents may experience a stronger smell of chlorine, however, NTMWD has not increased the amount of chlorine in the water. The only change during this temporary maintenance period has been the discontinuation of ammonia while maintaining all other treatment processes. The odor will be more noticeable due to the lack of ammonia.
The most commonly used disinfectants for water treatment are chlorine, chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) and ozone. NTMWD, like many water providers, uses all three. Ozone is the most powerful disinfection process and chlorine is used to ensure the water remains safe as it moves through the pipes throughout the regional and local systems.
California environmental lawyer Erin Brockovich has raised questions about the use of chlorine maintenance by water systems, including NTMWD, Austin, Houston, and Tyler.
“Water quality and safety is a top priority, and we work closely with officials in Member and Customer Cities, federal and state agencies to fulfill our mission,” said Mick Rickman, Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance at NTMWD. “This is a safe and scientifically proven method to ensure that treated water remains safe as it moves throughout the distribution system,” Rickman added.
Routine monitoring of bacteria, disinfectant residuals, nitrate, nitrite and many other parameters occurs during the maintenance period at the treatment plant and in the distribution systems. Samples are collected by TCEQ- licensed water operators and analyzed in appropriately accredited laboratories. NTMWD has performed process control monitoring at its treatment plant for disinfection byproducts including trihalomethanes (THMs). The results for multiple samples have been less than 28 parts per billion (ppb) which is significantly lower than the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 ppb. The results of all testing are within federal and state guidelines.
NTMWD water remains safe for consumption and use.
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