WATER Aqua Ohio changing chemicals

A change is being made to a more effective disaffection agent.
STRUTHERS -- In an effort to improve water quality, Aqua Ohio Inc. will change the method of disinfection in its Struthers Division public water distribution system from "free" chlorine to chloramines on or shortly after Wednesday.
The change will affect customers living in the city of Struthers; villages of Poland, Lowelville and New Middletown; and portions of Boardman, Beaver, Canfield, Coitsville, Mahoning (Penn.), Poland and Springfield townships.
Chloramines to be used
Aqua Ohio will switch to chloramines instead of chlorine because it is a more effective water disinfectant. Chloramination -- the use of chloramines -- has been used as a method of disinfection in water systems for many years in several different communities throughout the United States and Canada. Chloramines are longer-lasting disinfectants and will result in less chlorine taste and odor in the tap water.
"Chloraminated water can safely be used for bathing, drinking and cooking," said Aqua Vice President and Division Manager Albert J. Sauline. "However, chloraminated water can affect kidney dialysis and aquatic tanks or ponds. Dialysis facilities and/or aquatic pet owners will have to monitor the total chlorine residual more closely to assure the removal of all forms of the chlorine residual."
Before using chloraminated water for kidney dialysis or in fish tanks or ponds, the water should be tested with a chlorine residual test kit capable of measuring "total" chlorine. A test kit or instrument designed to measure free chlorine residual will not accurately register levels of chloramines. Because monochloramine is almost odorless, smelling the water also is not an appropriate test for the presence or level of chloramines.
Consult physicians
People with home dialysis machines should consult their physician or equipment supplier, and fish owners should consult their local pet store for suggested removal processes.
Aqua has notified all customers of the changeover to chloramines. The company also held information workshops for public officials, local medical centers, hospitals, pet stores, restaurants and grocery stores with fish or lobster tanks.
The changeover to chloramines is part of Aqua's $4.4 million investment in capital improvement projects planned for their Mahoning County service area in 2005.
For more information regarding the changeover, contact Carl McMorran, production manager, at (330) 757-3051, Ext. 10.
Aqua Ohio is the state's largest investor-owned water utility and serves nearly 300,000 residents in 49 communities in eight counties.

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