The town has recently received complaints about the amount of Chlorine used as a disinfectant in the town’s water system. Specifically the smell and taste of chlorine. The EPA’s Long-Term Surface Water Treatment Rule requires that surface water treatment systems using conventional filtration, like The Town of Ranchester, achieve a 3-log removal (99.9%) of Giardia and a 4-log removal (99.99%) of viruses. Only a portion of that can be achieved with filtration. The rest must be achieved with disinfection. The Town Of Ranchester uses chlorine gas to accomplish this disinfection. EPA regulates the amount of chlorine that must be added to the water system to reach these levels of disinfection. The first requirement is that a residual level must be maintained in all areas of the distribution system at all times. The next requirement is that sufficient contact time must be given for the chlorine to do its work before the water leaves the water plant. The concentration level of chlorine, the temperature and the PH of the water are all factors that figure into this calculation. All these factors are measured daily and the chlorine concentration is constantly measured and logged every 15 minutes. These logs are reported to EPA monthly and are available for review at the water plant. During sanitary surveys conducted by the EPA and in consultation with The EPA they have recommended that we maintain a level of chlorine leaving the water plant of 1.2mg/l. We strive to stay as close to this level as possible. The maximum amount of chlorine that EPA allows is an annual average of 4.0 mg/l.
At this time of year when snow is melting and the Tongue River is receiving runoff from local fields, streets and pastures the quality of our source water is diminished. Treating water is more difficult and the water may not taste the same as other times of the year. I can assure you that the water in the Town of Ranchester water system is safe and meets all requirements of the EPA. If you experience water that taste or smells bad please contact the water plant at 655-9702 as soon as possible so we can attempt to rectify the problem. We can test for chlorine content and flush the system in your area. More information about the requirement of chlorine in drinking water is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/lt2.
Water Plant Supervisor
Level 3 Water Treatment Plant Operator
Assistant Water Plant Supervisor
Level 2 Water Treatment Plant Operator