Monochloramine project hits a snag, has not been introduced to Craig’s water treatment system
The City of Craig’s much-anticipated – and largely dreaded – addition of monochloramines to the current use of chlorine for water disinfection, which had a deadline of April 1, has hit a snag and will be delayed at least another two weeks, City of Craig Water and Wastewater Director Mark Sollenberger told City Council Tuesday night.
The city has until the end of April to become complaint with state regulations, or it will face daily fines.
According to Sollenberger, the city water department started to take water storage tanks out of service to begin chloraminating those tanks individually on March 31. However, the project has run into some huge snags.
“This plan was supposed to take three or four weeks to complete; I’d say it’s going to take a bit longer than that,” Sollenberger said to City Council Tuesday night. “One of the downloading valves at the Barclay station; it’s failed already. It’s under warrant, of course; the manufacturer has to figure out why it failed.
“Both of our booster stations, they’re having chemical feed issues that we have to resolve with that manufacturer before we even try to start to chloraminate those two tanks, which are offline right now,” Sollenberger added. “…Right now, we’re doing the first phase of the plant primary disinfection changes, which is to feed chlorine in front of the filters, and then get our contact time adequate for the health department. This is taking more time than we anticipated.
“Originally, this was supposed to be three weeks, four weeks, but I envision it being at least another two weeks,” Sollenberger added.
The plant director added that it’s important for the public to know that the monochloramine disinfectant conversion process never fully started, despite public concerns about the smell of chlorine and poor taste in drinking water around March 31.
On April 3, Sollenberger put out a statement through the city, stating, “Please be assured at this time no chloramines have been added to the city’s water system. The chlorine smell that people are reporting is just a normal process of standard chlorination. This smell can occur when the source water characteristics change, it can allow the chlorine to release into the air more easily. As everyone is probably fully aware, spring run off season has begun, and like every year the chlorine smell is more noticeable at this time…When we do start sending monochloramines to the water distribution system, I will issue another notice to all of our customers.”
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