Archived News Release from 2003
For Immediate Release
Planned Date for Switchover to Chloramine
as Water Disinfectant Changed to February, 2004
Redwood City, CA - September 12, 2003 -
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced
that the date for the conversion to chloramine as the residual
drinking water disinfectant has been changed to February 2004.
The changeover was originally scheduled for late fall of this
year; however the SFPUC (which provides drinking water to
a number of local jurisdictions including Redwood City) determined
that a February changeover made more sense, and offered the
least potential impact on local water agencies.
Converting to chloramine will allow the SFPUC to provide
water that meets the stringent drinking water standards for
disinfection byproducts, specifically the federal and state
Disinfectant/Disinfection Byproducts Rule (D/DBP Rule). Chloramine,
a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is a more stable disinfectant,
lasts longer in water, produces lower levels of disinfection
byproducts called trihalomethanes (a possible carcinogen),
and may improve taste and odor.
The SFPUC conducted a feasibility and risk assessment study
of potential conversion dates. The study confirmed that a
February 2004 date was the optimal time for a number of reasons
including: greater system flexibility to reliably meet water
supply and demand; adequate time to optimize the operation
of three new chemical facilities currently being constructed
to support the chloramine conversion; and, increased readiness
of operating staff of the SFPUC and 29 wholesale customers
for the conversion.
When surveyed, the 29 wholesale customers of the SFPUC that
are represented by the Bay Area Water Users Association stated
a preference for a February 2004 conversion date. The SFPUC’s
outreach effort includes distribution of materials translated
into primary languages spoken within the SFPUC's service area.
Information on the conversion is being disseminated via web
site, telephone information line, mailings and articles, and
television, radio, and print advertising.
As with chlorine, those using water for kidney dialysis,
fish and amphibian tanks, and sensitive industrial/biotechnology
uses must take precautions prior to using the water. Chloramine
must be neutralized or removed for those purposes. More than
one-third of the country's water agencies have already switched
to chloramine from chlorine as a final disinfection agent.
In the Bay Area, these agencies include the East Bay Municipal
Utility District, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Contra
Costa Water District, Alameda County Water District, and the
Marin Municipal Water District.
More information is available at www.sfwater.org
or from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission at 415-554-3289.
Visit Redwood City’s website at www.redwoodcity.org
for information about the City and its services, the community,
recreation programs, education, City government, and local
Contact: Manny Rosas
Public Works Superintendent