The City of Butler will begin a free chlorine burn out of the water distribution system starting October 19th, 2020 and continuing until further notice. The free chlorine burnout is a change in the disinfection process from chloramines to free chlorine and is a necessary process to eliminate any nitrification or build up in the distribution system. This free chlorine does not contain ammonia. This is normal procedure, and City of Butler water quality experts monitor this process closely to ensure optimum levels of disinfectant are present. Due to this procedure, customers may experience a temporary change in taste and odor, as well as a discoloration of the water. This discoloration is due to the mineral build up in the pipes being removed by the flushing action. There are no associated health risks or cause for concern. This temporary treatment change practice is recommended by the Department of Natural Resources.
Here are some commonly asked questions about free chlorine burn outs and their purpose:
• Possible Noticeable Effects: There are no associated health risks to the process. During these efforts to improve water quality, there will be times of lower water pressure, possible odor and taste or small rust particles in the water. The city will attempt to flush the particles, color, and odor from the mains with directional flushing; however, there is a possibility that some of the color and odor will get into customer lines.
• Is my Water Safe to Drink? Yes, the City of Butler is dedicated to making sure the water is safe to drink and will monitor disinfectant levels continually during the burn out. If you experience an odor or taste in your water, it does not mean it is unsafe to drink. Odors are caused by the free chlorine disinfectant cleansing the system. Nuisance issues will go away as the work is completed.
• Why is this burn out necessary? Monthly, the City routinely flushes the lines, as well as collects samples and monitors the water quality. Our staff is tasked with ensuring that water in all points of the system is acceptable to our customers. Over time minerals and metals, which are naturally present in water sources, can increase and attach to pipes and release when there are changes in pressure, resulting in discoloration or affected taste. Other processes such as nitrification and the growth of biofilm can also occur in water distribution pipes. The biofilm growth can cause a reduction in the effectiveness of residual disinfectants over time. This free chlorine burnout will help cleanse the lines, reduce the occurrence of nitrification and biofilm, and ensure that we provide quality water for the citizens of Butler.
If you have questions, or need further information, please call 660-679-3581.
Sincerely, Trent Diehl – Director of Public Works\Utilities