El Dorado conducting free-chlorine disinfection of water distribution on Monday Aug. 2

Greg Williams
Butler County Times Gazette
Downtown El Dorado on Main St where many local businesses can be found

The City of El Dorado Water Department will be conducting free-chlorine disinfection of the water distribution system from Aug. 2 to 31.

Like El Dorado, most water utilities use a form of chlorine called “chloramines” in finished-treated water. The advantage of using chloramines is you can’t smell or taste it. The disadvantage is it’s a milder disinfectant.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends periodically switching to free-chlorine and flushing to maintain a healthy distribution system. The use of free-chlorine also reduces the potential for coliform or other types of bacteria in the distribution system.

During the switch to free-chlorine, customers may notice a chlorine taste or odor. This is normal and the water is still safe to drink.

If residents want to remove the chlorine taste during this one-month period, there are many inexpensive faucet-mounted filters that are very effective at removing chlorine.    

After the free-chlorine disinfection process, chloramines will be reintroduced into the distribution system.

Fire hydrants may be opened periodically to flush the distribution system and aid in distributing chlorine to areas of low use.

Anytime fire hydrants are flushed, cloudy water may occur due to calcium carbonate deposits being dislodged. If this occurs, just flush your faucets until the water clears. You may also need to clean the faucet screens.

Minor air pockets and temporary pressure fluctuations may also occur. Fire hydrant flushing should remove the majority of the cloudiness and odor.       

Customers using tap water for kidney dialysis should properly monitor for complete neutralization of the free-chlorine disinfectant residual and should contact their doctor for more information.

Customers using tap water for aquariums should also monitor the chlorine residual.  

If you have any questions, call the Public Utilities Department at (316) 322-4411.