Yes. This is a common industry practice. Many utilities throughout the country that use chloramines as a distribution system disinfectant convert to free chlorine annually for water line flushing.
Show All Answers
Water used for drinking and cooking should be free of pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms that cause such illnesses as typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, and gastroenteritis. Since the advent of modern water treatment systems in the early 1900's, waterborne occurrences of these diseases have been dramatically reduced.
Although there are several methods to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms in water, chlorination is most commonly used and is an excellent way to disinfect drinking water supplies. The City of Oviedo uses chloramines, a variation of this method, to treat and disinfect our drinking water supply.
Chloramines are produced at water treatment plants by combining chlorinated water and ammonia. This is done to increase the effectiveness of the disinfecting material as it journeys through miles of underground pipes. It also reduces the taste and odor of water, which is purely chlorinated.
The City of Oviedo’s treatment process for potable water meets all of the requirements established by the federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. Call 407-971-5681 to request the most recent Annual Water Quality Reports for more information and the most up-to-date water quality test results.
In some areas of Oviedo, water moves very slowly through the distribution pipes. Slow movement may cause sediment to build up over time, resulting in a film to accumulate along the pipe walls. Flushing lines cause the water to move very quickly, cleaning the pipes, and assuring consistently good water quality.
No. The flushed water is free to either evaporate or percolate into the ground. Also, the overall increase in water use for flushing is small compared to the amount of water used during the year.
Temporarily converting from chloramines to free chlorine is done to accompany the flushing process. Overtime, sediments accumulate in water pipes. If not controlled, this can reduce the quality of our drinking water. The material in water pipes can become accustomed to the chloramine disinfectant, which is routinely used. Switching to free chlorine, which is a stronger disinfectant, for a short period, ensures the quality of our water during the flushing process. Using fire hydrants to conduct system-wide flushing of our distribution mains, combined with the disinfectant change, is a very effective method for cleaning out this sediment and other built-up material. This procedure is a standard practice used nationwide.
You may notice a slight chlorine taste and smell to water during this period. This is normal and poses no health risk. If you would like to minimize this odor, you could put a pitcher of water in the refrigerator until cold and then drink.
You may also see Oviedo Utility crews with fire hydrants open and water flowing. This is part of the water main flushing activities.
The Conversion will last for approximately 20 days to get to the outer most points of the distribution system.
No, the City of Oviedo routinely conducts this maintenance on our drinking water system on an annual or bi-annual basis.
Kidney dialysis patients can safely drink, cook, and bathe in chloramine-treated water. Chloramines are only harmful if they directly enter the bloodstream. Since water does come into contact with the bloodstream during hemodialysis, very strict water purification standards should already be followed by your healthcare provider. However, if you have any concerns, please contact your healthcare provider for more information.
Chlorine and chloramine may be toxic to fish, other aquatic animals, reptiles, and amphibians. Unlike humans and other household pets, these types of animals absorb water directly into the bloodstream. However, products are available at aquarium supply stores that can remove chloramine. Ask your local pet store about methods of eliminating disinfectants from water for these pets.
Contact the Public Works, Utility Division at 407-971-5675.