In response to an order issued by the Department of Health and Hospitals as a way to ensure that there are no issues in municipal water systems with Naegleria fowleri, also known as brain-eating amoeba, Bossier City’s Utilities Department will be conducting a free chlorine burnout of its water distribution system.
The burnout will begin Friday, Feb. 21. This event is expected to last for 60 days.
While the Bossier City water system has not experienced any instances of this parasite, the free chlorine burnout is an added precautionary step.
Currently Bossier City uses chloramines for disinfection of the drinking water. Chloramines are created by combining chlorine and ammonia. During this free chlorine burn, the disinfection process will be changed from chloramines to free chlorine. Free chlorine is a stronger and faster-acting disinfectant. Bossier City will be using this disinfection. Customers may notice open fire hydrants throughout the city during this period and possibly overflowing water storage towers. The fire hydrants will be opened to allow flushing of the system to help remove sediment from the pipes and distribute the change in disinfectant. Overflowing water storage towers further aid in the flushing process.
Possible Noticeable Effects: It is important to understand that during this temporary change there may be some discoloration or cloudiness in the water and possibly a slight chlorine odor or taste. If this is experienced you may want to run the water through the tap until it clears. Minor pressure fluctuations and small air pockets may also occur. Fire hydrant flushing should remove a majority of the color and odor, but some may reach customer lines during the process.
Is the Water Safe to Drink? Yes, the water is safe to drink throughout this process. Any odor and color issues will be nuisance only, which will subside as the flushing is completed. Discoloration in laundry is possible during this time. Cleaning additives are readily available at local stores to help prevent or remove any discoloration that may occur. Customers who use tap water for kidney dialysis at home should consult their doctor to advise them if any changes are necessary in their residual disinfectant neutralization procedures. Customers utilizing the water for aquariums should monitor both free and combined chlorine residuals.
During normal business hours residents may call (318) 741-8466 with any questions concerning the free chlorine burnout. After regular business hours, please contact (318) 741-8371. The Bossier City Utilities Department appreciates the patience and understanding of its residents as it works to further improve the quality of the water for all customers.