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City of Tyler water department will begin chlorine conversion program Sept. 14

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) #tyler-tx – The City of Tyler is preparing to begin its Chlorine Conversion program beginning on Monday, Sept. 14. It will last through Oct. 12.

The City says the water will be safe to drink during this process and is a best practice that is supported by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.

KLTV’s Dante Nuñez explains how this program will be beneficial to Tyler residents.

In the coming days for Tyler residents, you might notice your water has an odor, abnormal taste, or even see some discoloration. This is part of the annual disinfectant process that began in 2014 and manager of the water utility system, Kate Dietz explains the importance of this process.

“The reason we typically use chlorine and ammonia combined is because it’s a more stable disinfectant. It stays stable to the far reaches of the system because we have a fairly large system. We use surface water as our main supply. It’s really the best type of disinfectant that we can be using as a residual disinfectant.”

This conversion is considered a best practice that is supported by the TCEQ and the EPA regulatory agencies

“So, what the free chlorine conversion does is it gives our system sort of a clean slate and gets rid of any nitrification that may be occurring in the system.”

Dietz explains the benefits of this process

“Using the free chlorine conversion, will get rid of those nitrification issues and so you’re going to have much better water quality in your area after this conversion and that will be noticeable.”

Dietz provides tips if you experience any problems with the disinfectant process when doing everyday tasks

“Before you do a load of laundry, you might want to check to make sure you’re not having some discoloration come through your pipes. Run it in your bathtub, flush it out within your own home before you run it.”

From the City of Tyler:

The City of Tyler will convert its disinfection process to free chlorine for a period of approximately one month beginning Sept. 14 and ending on Oct. 12.Generally, there are no noticeable changes in water quality as a result of this temporary conversion. However, some individuals may notice taste and odor changes and a slight discoloration to the water.

The City of Tyler currently uses chloramines (a combination of free chlorine and ammonia) to disinfect its drinking water supply prior to customer distribution. This is a reliable disinfection process that has been recommended by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for systems predominantly treating surface waters, such as those in the Tyler water system.

It is standard industry practice to periodically convert chloramines back to free chlorine to improve and maintain the highest water quality standards in potable water distribution systems. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the TCEQ support this process as a necessary and effective measure for maintaining water quality. Tyler began using this process for annual, routine maintenance in October 2014.

The City will implement directional flushing, combined with routine water quality monitoring, as measures to remove iron particles from water lines and to maintain the highest water quality for customers during the conversion.

Some iron particles may still make it into customer service lines despite the City’s efforts. Customers who experience discoloration should temporarily flush faucets, tubs and toilets, until the water has cleared. Clothing should not be washed during times of discoloration to reduce the possibility of staining. Prior to washing clothing, customers may want to run a little water in a bathtub to check for discoloration.

Periodic pressure drops may also be experienced due to the City’s extensive flushing efforts. Noticeable water quality changes associated with conversions are normally short lived and are not public health risks.

Customers can safely consume and use their drinking water as normal during the conversion period. However, dialysis patients should consult with their physicians prior to the conversion to ascertain whether pretreatment adjustments are necessary for their dialysis equipment. Most dialysis equipment has already been outfitted with charcoal filters that remove free chlorine and chloramines; however, customers should check with their doctor as a precautionary measure. The City of Tyler has notified local hospitals and dialysis clinics in advance so that they can implement process changes if necessary.

Those conditioning water for fish or aquariums may also need to make changes to their water pre-treatment process.

At the conclusion of the conversion period, which should occur on or about Oct. 12, the City of Tyler will convert its disinfection process back to chloramines.

Residents may call (903)-531-1285 with any questions concerning the free chlorine flush.

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