No Ammonia in Water and Annual Flushing of Water Distribution System from February 26 to April 9

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Jayne Kirkpatrick, Public Affairs Director
Prepared by: Carolyn B. Dumas, Public Information Manager, Public Utilities Department, 919-996-3473
For more information: Edward Buchan, Environmental Coordinator, 919-996-3471

Feb. 20, 2014


No Ammonia in Water and Annual Flushing of Water Distribution System from February 26 to April 9


The City of Raleigh temporarily will stop adding ammonia to its water treatment disinfecting process on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 10:00 a.m.

The change in treatment is required by federal and state regulations governing the operation of the City’s water system. The City will resume adding ammonia to the water treatment process on Wednesday, April 9 at 10 a.m.

Using ammonia in the treatment process reduces the amount of trihalomethanes, a by-product formed when water is disinfected with chlorine. The one-month return to chlorine-only disinfecting is not expected to cause any significant increase in trihalomethanes. Trihalomethane levels are strictly regulated in drinking water. The City of Raleigh has maintained compliance with all limits on trihalomethanes since regulations were put in place in 1981.

Some Raleigh water customers may be affected by the temporary change in the treatment process. Water customers should be aware that residual traces of ammonia and chlorine must be removed from the water prior to use in fish tanks and ponds, kidney dialysis and some commercial manufacturing of food and beverages.

The City also conducts flushing of the water distribution system during this period to hasten the change of chloramines to chlorine residual disinfectant. This flushing may cause some temporary discoloration in the water. The water is absolutely safe. However, as a precaution, customers may want to check to see if their water is discolored before laundering white clothes.

Water customers affected by this change include those who pay water bills to the City of Raleigh and to the towns of Rolesville, Garner, Knightdale, Holly Springs, Wendell, Wake Forest, Zebulon and Fuquay-Varina.

Questions about this change in water treatment should be directed to Edward Buchan, Public Utilities environmental coordinator, and may be mailed to City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department, P.O. Box 590, Raleigh, NC 27602 or by email