What is a "Free Chlorine Conversion" (Temporary Change in Disinfectants)?

 

What is a “free chlorine conversion”?

A free chlorine conversion is a process by which a water system switches its disinfection process from chloramines (a combination of chlorine and ammonia) to free chlorine in order to improve the long-term quality of its drinking water.

 

Why is the Utilities Commission implementing a “free chlorine conversion”?

To improve the overall water quality in our distribution system by preventing or eliminating discoloration problems from minerals, biofilm or nitrification.

 

Does the “free chlorine conversion” pose any health risks?  Will the water be safe to drink and use?

The process is entirely safe and poses no health risks to customers. The water is safe to drink, and customers can use the water as normal.

 

Is this the first time that the Utilities Commission has implemented a free chlorine conversion?

No, the Utilities Commission has been doing the conversions since 2016.

 

Are “free chlorine conversions” a common practice among water systems?

Yes. This is a common industry standard for preventative maintenance in drinking water distribution systems. Many utilities throughout the country that use chloramines for their primary distribution disinfectant convert to free chlorine on an “as needed” basis.

 

Why all the flushing?

The Utilities Commission must directionally flush to maintain clear water for our customers and to ensure the free chlorine conversion has made it to the far reaches of our distribution system. Flushing should significantly subside after the termination of the conversion.

 

How long will the “free chlorine conversion” last?

The duration of the “free chlorine conversion” will be approximately 6 weeks, 2x/year.

 

Will I need to do anything differently during the conversion?

No action is necessary during the conversion. Customers may drink and use their water as normal.

 

My water has a strong chlorine smell. What is going on?

A chlorine smell is very normal during the conversion period, as the disinfectant is transitioning from chloramines to free chlorine. Chlorine concentrations maintained during the conversion will be well within FDOH and EPA standards and will be entirely safe to consume and use as normal.

 

I have additional questions, who should I contact?

Scott Heil,  Water Production Supervisor 386-424-3191

Shiloh Wagers, Laboratory Supervisor 386-424-3184