On 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 (NH3) 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 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. The use of chloramines helps maintain 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 discussed below.
If 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. 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 tank will not remove the chloramines. Owners of outdoor fish ponds who fill them with domestic water will also have to remove the chloramines.
Due to the use of chloramines to treat the District's water, the chloraminated water will need to be treated before being used in dialysis machines. The District recommends at-home dialysis patients contact their dialysis product provider to determine what procedures need to be taken to treat their water.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, we encourage you to please call our office for assistance.