Allergy Be Gone Newsletter - September, 2005 vol. 2
Dear Valued Customer,
A few days ago, you, together with the rest of the New York's residents, might have received a brochure from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, labeled "Important Information About Your Drinking Water System". As a company dedicated to heightening our customers' awareness of health information, we would like to ask you to spare us a moment of your time so our Water Quality Experts could comment on the information contained within this brochure.
Why did you receive this brochure?
As stated in the brochure, since November 29th, 2004 there have been periods when a back-up chlorine feed line in the Catskill Water Supply System (which services New York City) was not operating optimally or was inoperable. As per the Code of Federal Regulation, this is classified as a treatment technique violation, which requires a public notice.
What does all of this mean?
The first treatment stage that drinking water undergoes before reaching your tap, is a process called chlorination. During it, the water is treated with chlorine, which kills disease-causing bacteria, viruses and other parasitic microorganisms.
The purpose of the back-up feed line is to ensure that this process is not interrupted if something happens to the primary line. In case of a malfunction on the primary line, the back-up line can continue the chlorine treatment until the primary line is repaired. If the back-up line had been needed during the period it was inoperable, inadequately treated water could have entered the distribution system.
What are the dangers of inadequately treated drinking water?
As mentioned before, untreated drinking water may contain disease-causing microorganisms. Many of them can cause gastrointestinal illness of various degrees. Common symptoms of such illness may include nausea and vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches.
Was the drinking water treated adequately during all of this period?
Fortunately, yes. The drinking water quality was thoroughly monitored throughout all of the said period, and it was found to be safe for drinking, meeting all the disinfection requirements. The monitoring also showed that the malfunction in the back-up chlorine feed line did not result in the increase of the numbers of microorganisms in the drinking water.
While the failure in the back-up chlorine feed line was a technical violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, it was not an emergency situation. No action is required on your part, and you can continue using your drinking water as usual.
What is being done about this?
As of April 2005, the DEP has already successfully repaired and replaced the damaged parts of the chlorine feed lines. However, it was found that the chlorine feed system needs to be completely replaced. This work is expected to be completed by December 1st, 2005.
Where can I get more information?
At Allergy Be Gone: