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Change in Drinking Water Disinfection Process

December 02, 2019

Photo of the sodium hypochlorite generation system

The first week of December marks a significant milestone in how staff at our Hayden Bridge Filtration Plant disinfects drinking water, switching from chlorine gas to a liquid chlorine bleach that is manufactured on-site.

Resiliency and safety are the primary drivers in the chlorination change. Chlorine gas is toxic and can be hazardous to transport and store. Currently, there are two suppliers of chlorine gas in the West, one in Washington and one in Utah. Any disruption to the transportation system would have a significant impact on our ability to treat drinking water.

The new system, which uses coarse salt, water and electrolytic conversion to make sodium hypochlorite (bleach), allows us to store enough salt at the filtration plant to last three months. In addition, this system is much safer for our employees and neighbors.  

The sodium hypochlorite generation system will improve water quality, and it is a proven, effective and safe chlorination method.

There is a slight chance that this change in disinfectants could result in some temporary chlorine "odor" issues and discoloration of the water in the distribution system. Running the cold water tap for one minute should help. Click here for additional flushing options and frequently asked questions. Here is a video link to how the new process works:

Learn more about how we deliver safe, reliable drinking water from source to tap.