St. Tammany Parish Government’s Department of Utilities will conduct a temporary switch from the current Chloramine disinfection to Free Chlorine disinfection of its water distribution within the Cross Gates Water System beginning on Monday, April 25, 2022 and will last for 60 days.
This temporary switch to Free Chlorine is performed by significantly increasing the amount of Chlorine that is pumped into the water system to raise the Free Chlorine residual. Citizens may notice open fire hydrants or flushing valves, which help distribute the change in disinfectant.
The change will likely cause strong Chlorine odor and taste, in addition to some discoloration or cloudiness in the water, minor pressure fluctuations and small air pockets. If this is experienced, running water may help minimize the effects.
With the Chlorine Burn, neighbors might also experience eye and/or skin irritation and other possible effects similar to swimming pools.
Customers who use tap water for kidney dialysis at home should contact their doctor to determine if any changes are necessary in their residual disinfectant neutralization procedures.
Significantly increasing the Chlorine concentration can increase the production of disinfection by-products (DBP’s). DBP’s are classified by EPA as human carcinogens that are created during the disinfection process. The DBP’s level will be monitored throughout the Chlorine conversion to ensure levels do not increase beyond the maximum contaminant levels set by the EPA.
The switch, which was recommended by Owen & White Consulting Engineering, Inc., is being performed strictly as a precautionary measure and with the intent to increase public trust in the water quality.
There is no evidence of bacteriological contaminants within the Cross Gates Water System, and the system is in full compliance with all Louisiana Department of Health and Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
St. Tammany Parish Government remains committed to continuing to provide safe and quality drinking water for citizens.
In 2021, President Mike Cooper authorized the examination of the Cross Gates Water Systems by Owen & White. Thus far, 12 out of their 35 recommendations have been completed, with an additional five being in progress.
Additional information regarding the reason for the temporary conversion to Free Chlorine can be found in the Final Report by Owen & White Engineering Consultants, Inc. on the www.stpgov.org home page.