Stettler water plant switching to chloramination in water system

Water from the Town of Stettler will continue to be healthy and clean when the town plans to switch to disinfecting the water with chloramines from chlorine in the next few months.

“Town of Stettler residents and other users can rest assured that they will continue to have a clean and safe supply of water when this happens,” said Mayor Dick Richards.

The change is scheduled to occur by the end of this year and residents will be notified at least two week prior to the time of the change.

“Upgrades to the water treatment plant have been occurring over this past year to increase our capacity and upgrade our secondary disinfection system,” said Mayor Richards.

“As the town continues to grow and water is provided to more communities, chloramines will allow the water to travel longer distances while maintaining a stable disinfection.”

The change is part of the town’s new licence for water services with Alberta Environment, according to town manager Rob Stoutenberg.

“Ammonia will be added to the water and it will help the chlorine work better,” he said.

“Anytime you transport water over a longer distance, using only chlorine can pose a problem,’ said Stoutenberg.

While the town plans to make the change by the end of December, it could be delayed into early 2011 as the water treatment plant is upgraded to accommodate the change, he said.

Over the past two years, the town has extended water services to Botha, Gadsby, Halkirk, Castor, Coronation and Consort to the east and out west to Alix and Mirror.

“Many cities and communities in Canada and around the world have been using the chloramination process for decades to purify drinking water and eliminate bacteria that cause water-borne diseases,’ said Stoutenberg.

Chloramine has also shown to reduce the taste and smell of chlorine in tap water.

People and animals can safely drink and bath in the water which is also safe to do laundry or to water plants.

Chloramine is harmful only when it enters the bloodstream directly but it can be applied to clean open wounds without concern.

People on dialysis for kidney problems can drink, bath, and cook with chloraminated water but they cannot use the chloraminated water in the dialysis process.

Kidney patients are advised to consult their physician for more information.

This water is also safe for babies.

Owners of pools, hot tubs and spas will not be required to make any changes with chloramination.

For plumbing, the change to chloramines may cause some rubber or synthetic rubber material in household fixtures to degrade faster.

When replacing, parts should be chloramine-resistant.

Chloramination will not affect plastic piping or plumbing parts.