Water Resources

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


Potable Water - Where Your Water Comes From

During 2019, the Utilities Commission served a monthly average of 27,404 water connections within our 41.3 square mile service area, and provided over 1.91 billion gallons of drinking water to these customers.

The average consumption per connection was 190 gal/connection/day. This is due largely to the conservation efforts of our customers. (note: we have approx. 2.3 people/connection as defined by Florida Department of Health).

Also during 2019 - 1.33 billion gallons of reclaimed water (recycled treated domestic wastewater) was provided for irrigation to 2,705 connections. This beneficial use of reclaimed water for irrigation has significantly reduced the demand on our potable water supply wells, preserving this natural resource, and allowed for 100% utilization of reclaimed water.

The raw water supply for UCNSB is derived from the Floridan aquifer. Our 23 production wells in four distinct well fields draw from this very high quality water source in accordance with our Consumptive Use Permit (CUP), issued by the St. Johns River Water Management District. This permit allows us to withdraw up to 8.33 million gallons per day (MGD) to be used in for potable water supply needs.

Raw water from the well supply is treated at our Class A plant, which is the highest classification level designated by the State. The plant must operate with around the clock personnel 365 days a year. Every operator is fully trained and State certified in this profession. The storage, transmission, and distribution facilities of the water system include 5.9 MG of total storage capacity, 4 booster pumping stations and approximately 250 miles of 6" or larger water mains.

Reuse Water

The Utilities Commission has about 22,090 domestic wastewater customers within a service area of 51.1 square miles. This service area is defined by interlocal agreement between the Utilities Commission, the City of New Smyrna Beach, and Volusia County.

UCNSB’S Class A, 7.0 MGD Advanced Treatment Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) currently processes approximately 3.62 million gallons each day, serving 20,090 connections. All of the highly treated effluent is provided for irrigation in the reuse distribution system to several golf courses, the Sportsplex, medians, and approximately 2705 residential irrigation users.

The wastewater collection system includes approximately 213 miles of gravity sewer and force mains. There are 102 sewage lift stations operating throughout the collection system. These pump stations are monitored by a computerized SCADA system via radio communications.