Water Dist. 5 taking pro-active approach to recent amoeba outbreak
St. Mary Parish Water District 5 will perform a free chlorine burn in its distribution system starting Monday.
The burn entails turning off the ammonia that is normally blended with the chlorine to produce a chloramine for disinfection, and going to straight chlorine.
This process is done throughout the state by water districts who use chloramines, from time to time for several reasons.
“We feel along with Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals that doing this is a proactive way to protect the integrity of our system,” said Jamie Miller, superintendent of the water district that services Bakertown, Centerville, Verdunville, Garden City, Bayou Sale and points eastward up to Patterson. “Doing this ‘burns’ off any biofilm or settlement that has built up inside the piping.”
The free chlorine burn will last for approximately 30 to 45 days, depending on how the system reacts.
Plant operators will sample the distribution system at least twice a day and flush fire hydrants throughout the system on a daily routine.
Customers may notice a chlorine smell and/or taste difference during this process.
Miller said if so, run the cold water tap for several minutes when water has not been used for several hours. Collect and refrigerate cold tap water in an open glass pitcher. Within a few hours the chlorine taste and odor will disappear and the water will be conveniently cold for drinking.
Customers who normally take special precautions to remove the chloramines from the tap should continue to take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine.
Anyone having questions, may call Miller at 337-836-5831.