Water Disinfection Type Changes for Crystal Springs Residents
In the near future, the Pasco County Utilities (PCU) Crystal Springs service area will be changing from the use of chlorine as a water disinfectant to chloramines. PCU is already in compliance with all current water quality regulations. This disinfectant change is being made to comply with federal water quality standards, under the National Safe Drinking Water Act. Disinfectant changes have already occurred in the Central, Southwest, and West service areas of Pasco County, with the same water source continuing to supply the Crystal Springs service area. In certain areas, residents may notice flushing of the water system at fire hydrants and other locations. Flushing is a necessary part of the process and helps to prepare the system for the change.
Updates to the project and expected timeframe will be posted to this webpage. Please connect with PCU for any questions or concerns at (813) 235-6012 during normal business hours, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are chloramines?
The main difference between “chlorination” and “chloramination” is the presence of small amounts of ammonia in the water. Chloramination adds a small amount of ammonia to water in the treatment process along with chlorine thereby forming chloramines on combined chlorine.
In Florida, chloramines are used by at least 30 water utilities including the cities of Tampa, St. Pete, New Port Richey, and the counties of Pinellas and Hillsborough. Like chlorine, chloramines must be removed from water before it is used for two specific purposes:
- Kidney dialysis
- Fish and aquatic life
How does the use of chloramines affect kidney dialysis centers and patients?
Kidney dialysis patients can safely drink, cook, and bathe in chloraminated water. Chloramines are only harmful if they directly enter the bloodstream. Since water is exposed to the bloodstream during hemodialysis, very strict water purification standards are already followed by the kidney dialysis industry. Water purification techniques used for kidney dialysis are already designed to remove both chlorine and chloramines. Industry standards require that a nurse, technician, or trained caregiver test for both chlorine and chloramines after the purification process to ensure that these chemicals have been removed from the water before it can be used in the dialysis machine.
All kidney dialysis patients, even those that receive their treatments from a trained relative or caregiver at home, must be under the care of a kidney dialysis center. All centers in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties, as well as hospitals with acute dialysis facilities, have been informed about the addition of chloramines.
How does this use of chloramines affect aquarium fish, pond fish, and other aquatic life?
Since fish and other aquatic animals take chloramines directly from the water into their bloodstreams through their gills, chloramines, like chlorine, must be removed from water used for keeping live saltwater fish, fresh water fish, and other aquatic life including koi fish, lobster, shrimp, frogs, turtles, snails, clams, and live coral.
Water conditioners, specifically designed for removing both chlorine and chloramines, are commercially available. Pet stores or pet suppliers will be able to provide information on de-chloramination products and instruction. This process is similar to removing chlorine from aquarium water. While chlorine will dissipate when water is left to sit before being used, chloramines will not dissipate in this manner and specific treatment is required.
Will chloraminated water be safe for my dog or cat?
Is chloraminated water safe for my swimming pool?
Yes. No additional treatment should be necessary. Always follow your pool dealer’s recommendation for proper pool maintenance and water chemistry.
Will I notice a difference in the taste or odor of my water?
When chloramines are used instead of chlorine, most individuals report an improvement in the way their drinking water tastes and smells because they no longer detect chlorine in the water.
Will there be any noticeable difference in my water due to the switch to chloramines?
During the conversion process, temporary impacts may be noticed in isolated areas as the chloraminated water is introduced into the distribution system. Some customers may notice a temporary variation in water color, as well as, possible sediment in the water for a day or two. These temporary impacts to water quality are normal and occur when routine flushing maintenance is performed on the water distribution system. Any impacts experienced will cease as the system stabilizes.
Will there be a drop in water pressure due to flushing?
Most customers will not see a drop in water pressure. If a change in pressure does occur, it usually lasts for less than 30 minutes. If a significant loss of water pressure is experienced, lasting longer than 30 minutes, please contact PCU.
Most problems can usually be resolved by running cold tap water for 2 to 3 minutes.
Please connect with PCU for any questions or concerns at (813) 235-6012 during normal business hours, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.