Article courtesy of Rick Neale | March 3, 2015 | Florida Today | Shared as educational material
A chlorine odor may be noticeable in drinking water through March 20 for about 140,000 southern Brevard County residents, Melbourne officials said.
City utility workers started using a temporary “free chlorine” disinfecting process today to combat potential contamination.
The free chlorine boost is a utility maintenance task that Melbourne last conducted in 2009, said Cheryl Mall, city spokeswoman.
Melbourne’s water system has not recently violated any drinking water standards, said Harold Nantz, assistant public works and utilities director. Typically, the city’s water chemistry includes a chloramine disinfectant, which is a combination of chlorine and ammonia.
“When cast iron pipe gets old, it can start catching microorganisms. The temporary use of free chlorine is a standard treatment for this,” Nantz said.
Melbourne provides drinking water for about 140,000 people across roughly 100 square miles of southern Brevard County.
The city serves about 58,000 water accounts in Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach, Palm Shores, Melbourne Village and unincorporated areas.
The city also provides wholesale water service to West Melbourne. Average water demand for Melbourne’s water system is 15.2 million gallons per day.
Tap water advice from City Hall:
•People who are sensitive to the taste or smell of chlorine should pour water in a container and place it in a refrigerator for a few hours.
•For kidney dialysis patients, water may contain chlorine and/or ammonia this week and the week of March 15-20. Water should only contain free chlorine next week.
•Owners of tropical aquariums may have to take action to maintain appropriate water quality.