ChloraminesOn January 22, 2007, Ute Water Conservancy District changed the way they treat their domestic water. Chlorine was used during the treatment process and had allowed Ute Water to stay in compliance with federal and state water quality standards. The use of chloramines is becoming more popular in the United States as an alternative for chlorine during the disinfection of drinking water. Chloramines have been used as a disinfectant in domestic water since 1917.
Chloramines are a combination of chlorine (Cl2) and ammonia (CHH3) which is responsible for reducing the amount of disinfection by-products called trihalomethanes. Trihalomethanes are formed when chlorine mixes with trace quantities of naturally occurring organic substances, sticks and leaves, found in raw water. Raw water is untreated water that we bring into our treatment facility where it is treated, tested and then put into domestic water lines. Ute Water Conservancy District receives all of its raw water from snow melt on the Grand Mesa. Once the snow melts it flows into one of our reservoirs where it is piped to our treatment facilities.
Ute Water's distribution system now serves over 80,000 customers throughout Mesa County. We have seen a significant increase in growth in the Grand Valley and are preparing for the future demand of our domestic water. We want to ensure the public that this change is for the benefit of our customers and their families. With nearly 1,500 miles of waterlines we believe the use of chloramines is the best solution in supplying our consumers with the high quality, great tasting water we are known for. The use of chloramines will help maintain the consistent water quality throughout the entire distribution system. Aquarium owners and dialysis patients should take special note of the change and follow the proper procedures. If you are not an aquarium owner or a dialysis patient you will be able to continue your water use and consumption as normal. The water is entirely safe for you to drink, bathe in, cook with, water plants, and give to your pets.
Aquarium OwnersIf you own fish you will need to take additional steps in de-chlorinating your aquarium water. This is a simple and highly effective process. A de-chlorinating chemical can be purchased at your local pet store. Before purchasing this product it is crucial that you read the label to make sure it is intended for treating water that contains chloramines. The label should be clearly marked with this information. Aquarium related stores have also been notified of this change and should be able to help you in your selection. The chloramines are toxic to aquatic life and must be removed from the aquarium water. Chloramines do not quickly dissipate into the air like chlorine. This means that the common practice of letting your water sit over night before adding it to your fish tanks will not remove the chloramines. Owners of outdoor fish ponds who fill them with domestic water will also have to remove the chloramines.
Dialysis PatientsWe have notified the local dialysis clinics of the change in disinfectant. They have made the necessary adjustments to the dialysis machines. If you are an at home dialysis patient we highly recommend you contact your dialysis product provider to find out what procedures you need to take. The chloramines must be removed from the water just like the chlorine prior to the dialysis treatment process.
We understand any and all of the concerns you may have. It may be helpful if you continue to read the commonly asked questions below. This may assist in answering any of your questions. You may also contact our Public Relations Officer, Joseph Burtard, for further assistance.