Pure chlorine will be in city water

- In a few weeks, engineers will mix "free" chlorine into the city's raw water supply as part of an annual routine to remove bacteria that is built up in city lines.

Starting June 2nd, for four weeks the city will mix "free" chlorine into the city's water supply at the Water Treatment Plant in a process better known as burnout. This process removes bacteria that builds up in the water system because of low pressure.

"Whenever we run free chlorine into the system, it will actually clean out," stated city Water Quality Department, Tymn Combest. "Not only the water mains, it'll clear out the lateralls... it'll clean out the lines in your house. It actually just takes the biofilm out of the entire system."

Combest said the chlorine level actually remains the same, but other chemicals in the treatment process will be removed....leaving the "free" chlorine.

"One thing people can expect is there will be a little bit more of a swimming pool odor to the water because free chlorine has a lower threshold of oder than monochlorine," explained Combest. "So, they will expect... when they turn on their faucets in the bathroom or the showers they will expect to smell a little bit more chlorine odor."

The annual summer month-long burnout process actually prevents city engineers from increasing the chlorine level in the water system throughout the year.

"It helps the plant use less chlorine use out in the distribution system," Combest continued.

City employees will start the burnout process 12 hours before June 2nd by turning off ammonia pumps to create the "free" chlorine that will be used.

"Basically, we have to just turn the ammonia, the liquid amonia sulfate pumps, off and the conversion will probably take place within 12 hours," finished Combest.

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