City of Odessa changes water disinfectant method for month of June

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 9:32 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - If you’ve noticed a change in the way you’re water tastes and smells, there’s a reason.

This month the City of Odessa changed its disinfectant method.

“From using chloramines which are chlorine and ammonia combined to using free chlorine, free chlorine is a stronger disinfectant than chloramines and allows us to provide a good cleaning of the system,” said Director of Public Works Thomas Kerr.

Kerr says the water is safe for you and your animals to drink and use.

“By doing this we are able to make sure the system is easier to maintain and we will be providing safer water in all cases,” said Kerr.

Laboratory Supervisor Lance Ward has worked in the water treatment lab for 22 years, separate from the water treatment plant.

“We test the tap water every day or five days a week in some capacity like four days a week. I go out into the city and I collect water samples and I do some testing out in the field and I bring them back here. They test every 15 minutes or so over there,” said Laboratory Supervisor Lance Ward.

If the use of chlorine in the water is news to you, don’t worry it was to Ward too.

“I know when I started working here I don’t know we chlorinated the water that was weird to me,” said Ward.

Ward says using chlorine is required by the state.

Medical facilities and dialysis centers are the only ones that work with the city to make a change when this occurs.

“They have a filter that actually pulls the disinfectants out of the water so that when it’s in your bloodstream you know you’re not putting chlorine in the bloodstream normally they’re removing chloramines now they would be removing chlorine,” said Kerr.

In many ways this month is just like any other for Ward, they just test for free chlorine instead of total chlorine.

Ward’s 22 years of experience bring him confidence in their procedure.

“To be in here and know how important we take it, how regulated we are, how many people are watching over us to make sure we do it right so it’s really comforting that way,” said Ward.

Kerr says they want to provide safe and quality water to the community.