The water treatment plant in Weyburn will be making some changes this summer to the process of treating potable water in the community.
“Before we were only adding the chlorine, but a more aggressive or effective disinfection process is adding some ammonia to get chloramine,” explained Shabbir Sakrani, the superintendent of the water treatment plant.
The change was made due to a byproduct created when using chlorine alone. To help ensure the levels of the organic byproduct remain within the required levels of the permit for the water treatment plant, reducing the chlorine amount and adding ammonia for chloramines are going to be implemented.
“Customer will not see or feel any changes,” explained Sakrani as to the impact of the change. However, there will need to be some steps taken for those who are on dialysis or have fish tanks.
Those who are on dialysis will need to have the chloramine residuals removed from the water before being used in the dialysis machines. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is aware of the change being made in Weyburn, and they will be taking the steps needed for the safety of patients.
For aquariums, a filter is recommended, as chloramine residuals may be toxic to some species of fish. Sakrani recommends a granular activated carbon filter or a de-chlorinator.
The Water Security Agency does approve the use of chloramines, with the process already used in some other centres in Saskatchewan. This includes Saskatoon, Estevan and Meadow Lake.
In terms of water safety, Sakrani added they take it extremely seriously.
“We test our water four times daily, every single day of the year, to make sure the water is safe to consume.