Beginning on Monday, June 24th the City of Atchison will switch the way it disinfects the water for about two weeks. This is part of a normal maintenance program for the water distribution system. Water will be safe to drink during the entire period of this process. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is fully aware that we are undertaking this normal and necessary process.
For most of the year, Atchison uses chloramines for the disinfection of the drinking water. Chloramines are created by combining chlorine and ammonia. During this maintenance procedure, sometimes referred to as a free chlorine burn, the disinfection process will be changed from chloramines to free chlorine.
Free chlorine is a stronger and faster-acting disinfectant. Atchison will be using this type of disinfection through early July. Customers may also notice open fire hydrants throughout the city during this period and possibly overflowing water storage towers. The fire hydrants will be opened to allow flushing of the system to help remove sediment from the pipes and distribute the change in disinfectant. Overflowing water storage towers further aid in the flushing process.
Possible Noticeable Effects: It is important to understand that during this temporary change there may be some discoloration or cloudiness in the water and possibly a slight chlorine odor or taste. If this is experienced, you may want to run the water through the tap until it clears. Minor pressure fluctuations and small air pockets may also occur. Fire hydrant flushing should remove a majority of the color and odor, but some may reach customer lines during the process.
Is the Water Safe to Drink? Yes, the water is safe to drink throughout this process. Any odor and color issues will be nuisance only, which will subside as the flushing is completed. Customers who use tap water for kidney dialysis at home should consult their doctor to advise them if any changes are necessary in their residual disinfectant neutralization procedures. Customers utilizing the water for aquariums should monitor both free and combined chlorine residuals.