September 9, 2004

Rural Water Planning Switch To Lake Rathbun by September 15th

Officials with the Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 of Scotland County are preparing to turn the water on. Sometime next week, the CPWSD #1 will officially make the switch to the Rathbun Rural Water Association (RRWA) as a supplier for the more than 1,200 customers of rural water in the district.

The $1.5 million project has been finalized with the completion of the new water tower north of Memphis and installation of the new supply lines that now connect the district with RRWA which is located near Centerville, IA.

The project was funded by an $850,000 grant from the USDA which also secured a nearly $700,000 low interest loan.

The switch in water service is expected to begin between September 10-15.

Representatives from both districts are currently providing information about the differences in the water provided by RRWA. The much larger district uses chloramines as the primary disinfectant in the water.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, chlorine has been safely used for more than 100 years for disinfecting drinking water to protect public health from diseases which are caused by bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms.

Chloramines have also been used as a disinfectant since the 1930’s. Chloramines are produced by combining chlorine and ammonia.

Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than chlorine, but are more stable, thus extending disinfectant benefits throughout a water utility’s distribution system. They are used for maintaining a disinfectant residual in the distribution system so that disinfected drinking water is kept safe.

Since chloramines are not as reactive as chlorine with organic material in water, they produce substantially lower concentrations of disinfecting byproducts in the distribution system. Because the chloramine residual is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, it provides better protection against bacterial re-growth in systems with large storage tanks and dead-end water mains.

Chloramine, like chlorine, is effective in controlling biofilm, which is a slime coating in the pipe caused by bacteria. Controlling biofilms also tends to reduce coliform bacteria concentrations and biofilm-induced corrosion of pipes.

Because chloramine does not tend to react with organic compounds, many systems will experience less incidence of taste and odor complaints when using chloramine

Chloramines do not pose a health hazard to the general public. However, this treatment system can cause serious problems for individuals with kidney disease that are undergoing dialysis.

The CPWSD #1 has been working with the Scotland County Health Department to ensure that all individuals that could be adversely affected by the water change are made aware of the health-related issues.

Another issue with chloramines arises with toxicity for fish. Customers will not be able to use untreated tap water for fish tanks or aquariums.

Holding water for an extended period of time or boiling water, which works to remove chlorine, will not work to remove chloramines.

Technical questions regarding chloramines may be directed to the RRWA at 1-800-233—8849.

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