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Posted on: October 21, 2021

Sioux Center Water Disinfection Process to Change in 2022

water being poured

In preparation for receiving water from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, Sioux Center Municipal Utilities will be changing its method of water disinfection to chloramination in or after January 2022.

“Disinfecting our drinking water is an important health and safety measure we provide for residents,” said Sioux Center Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein. “Moving to chloramination helps us get ready to receive high-quality water from the Lewis & Clark system and prepares us for continued growth.”

Chloramination is a commonly used disinfection process, used by many including the Lewis & Clark system. Chloramination is the process of adding chloramine to drinking water to disinfect it and kill viruses, bacteria, and other organisms that cause illness. The use of chloramines or other disinfectants is required by EPA drinking water standards and by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources.

Previously, Sioux Center Municipal Utilities used chlorination as a disinfection process. Chlorine is used up more quickly in water systems than chloramines, and Lewis & Clark water will be disinfected with chloramines due to the distance it will be traveling. Chloramine, which is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, can last longer in the water pipes and produces fewer disinfection byproducts than chlorine.

Some customers will need to take action with this change in disinfection. Those who will need to take action include fish owners and dialysis providers.

• Fish owners: Chloramination can affect fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Unlike chlorine, chloramines cannot be removed by letting water sit out for a few days because they last longer in the water. Chloramines and chlorine can be toxic to fish and must be removed from water with a filter or agent. Products are available at aquarium supply stores to remove chloramine. Fish owners can ask their pet store about methods of removing disinfectants from water.

• Dialysis facilities must treat water to remove all chemical disinfectants, including chlorine and chloramine, before it can be used for dialysis. A condition known as hemolytic anemia can occur if the disinfectant is not completely removed from the water that is used for the dialysate. Dialysis Home dialysis users should consult the machine manufacturer for instructions to properly treat water and check for proper treatment of chloramine before this change. Medical facilities should also determine if additional precautions are required for other equipment.

For more information on chloramination, visit www.siouxcenter.org/waterprocess

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