The reason MWC uses chloramines

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 5:35 PM

Dear Editor:

In 2005, Montezuma Water Company (MWC) started reviewing the water treatment plant (WTP) process to meet current and future regulations required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). With this in mind, an engineering firm from Denver was contracted to evaluate the WTP. Recommendations were made to increase pumping capacity, improve disinfection and add water storage. The plan was submitted to CDPHE and was approved as presented with the use of chloramines as the secondary disinfectant.

All treatment processes are based on approved regulations and science. The new pump station at the WTP has been completed and the injection of chloramines is underway. The use of chloramines allows MWC to meet the criteria required by the Stage II Disinfection By-Product Rule (71 FR 388, January 4, 2008) with a compliance deadline of 2013.

Chloramines have been in use since the 1930s in cities like Denver and Philadelphia. Ute Water of Grand Junction, one of the largest rural water systems in the state, started using chloramines in January 2007. MWC has kept members informed of this proposed process via regular newsletters and with open discussions at the monthly board meeting and the annual meeting. This should not be construed as something that was done in secret or without the best interest of our members in mind. I use this water, as do all our board members and their families.

MWC has approximately 1,000 miles of main lines providing service to parts of three counties. The use of chloramines is the best solution to supplying the members with the safe and great-tasting water that we are accustomed to receiving. MWC has seen nearly a 47 percent reduction in disinfection by-products (TTHM and HAA5, shown to cause cancer) since chloramines were introduced in the Dove Creek portion of the system six years ago. Chloramines are being introduced to the balance of the system this year.

In conclusion, MWC has always looked to the future to meet upcoming regulations. We have always had an open dialogue with our members and appreciate both the input and criticism received. MWC has, and always will, act in the best interest of the members by meeting regulations through the use of proven science.

Mike Bauer, manager

Montezuma Water Company

Via e-mail