News Items from UNC Greensboro

In late July, the City of Greensboro will change the process of water treatment for Greensboro and surrounding areas. The new process will involve switching the disinfectant from free chlorine to chloramines to comply with new federal regulatory standards. According to the City of Greensboro Water Resources, the newly treated water will be safe for drinking, bathing, cooking, and all other uses we have for water every day. They have identified only three groups which will need special care with chloraminated water: kidney dialysis patients, specialized business owners, and fish, pond, and aquarium owners.

A few of the key points on the subject:
Q. Why is the City of Greensboro making a change to their water treatment process?
A. There were several options considered for effective water treatment, but chloramines were determined to be the best disinfectant choice to comply with the current Safe Drinking Water Act acceptable limits of disinfectant by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs).

Q. What is chloramine?
A. Chloramine has been used as a disinfectant for over a century to treat water. It is formed by mixing chlorine with ammonia. Chloraminated water meets EPA standards for drinking, and other general water activities. The City of Greensboro recommends that owners of aquariums, or dialysis equipment speak with water treatment specialists to be sure that the chloramine is removed or neutralized properly.

Q. What are some of the advantages/disadvantages of chloraminated water?
A. The ratio of chlorine and ammonia is important to the process. Chloramine stays in the distribution system for a longer period of time. The EPA has developed a guidance manual, “Microbial and Disinfection Byproduct Rules Simultaneous Compliance Guidance Manual, “providing recommendations to the City for handling this potential. The water may also taste better from an aesthetic perspective.

Q. When will the new process of water treatment begin?
A. The city will begin the conversion on July 25.

Q. Where can someone find out more information about chloraminated water?
A. The City of Greensboro Water Resources AT 336-373-2489 or visit www.greensboro-nc.gov/Water

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