Notice of Change in Drinking Water Disinfection Method
Beginning Thursday, March 1, 2018, Fort Bragg’s water suppliers, Harnett County and Fayetteville Public Works Commission (PWC), will temporarily change their disinfection method from chloramines (free chlorine with ammonia added) to free chlorine only. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality requires all water systems that add ammonia to their drinking water to discontinue its use for a one-month period annually to ensure that any biological growth that may have occurred within the distribution system is controlled. Both suppliers will resume adding ammonia to the water treatment disinfection process on Sunday, April 1, 2018.
Harnett County has been disinfecting water with chloramines since 1993 and PWC since 2003. Chloramine disinfection minimizes the amount of disinfection by-products (DBPs) that can form in a water system. The one-month switch to free chlorine disinfection is not expected to cause any significant increase in DBPs. Both suppliers have been in compliance with all state-set limits since they began the use of chloramines. Some water users may notice a chlorine odor as a result of this change in the treatment process. Throughout the month of March, Old North Utility Service (ONUS), the Fort Bragg water utility, will perform flushing at multiple hydrant locations in order to expedite the change of chloramine to chlorine residual throughout the system.
Some customers may also experience periods of discolored water as a result of the required distribution-system flushing that will accompany this change back to chlorine-only disinfection. Discoloration can be mitigated by allowing faucets to run until the water clears. If your water does not clear up within a reasonable time, please submit a service order request through Fort Bragg DPW at 910-396-0321. Water customers should be aware that during this time, traces of ammonia may still be in the water. Therefore, ONUS recommends that water customers who pre-treat to remove chloramines prior to the water being used, should continue to do so.
If you have any questions about this temporary change in disinfection processes, please contact Meaghan Till – ONUS Environmental Coordinator at 910-495-1311.