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City to make temporary switch to free chlorine for disinfecting water

Monday, May 26, 2014 | 2:02 p.m. CDT; updated 3:40 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 26, 2014

COLUMBIA — City residents might notice a slight chlorine odor in their drinking water during the next couple of days as the Columbia Water and Light Department switches to free chlorine to disinfect the water supply.

The city uses chloramines to treat drinking water for a majority of the year. Chloramines are created when a small amount of ammonia is added with chlorine to the water. The city began using the chloramine method in 2009 after levels of a cancer-causing trihalomethanes exceeded standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The switch to free chlorine, which is recommended by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, will begin on Tuesday and will continue through the end of August, according to a news release from city water production manager Mike Anderson.

The Water and Light Department's website has more information about the city's water disinfection process.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.


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