Upcoming Changes to Water Treatment
September 21, 2017
The Town of Pinedale has been dosing sodium silicate at the Fremont Lake Treatment Plant for its current and previous corrosion control treatment (CCT). There is no lead in Fremont Lake or the Town’s water distribution system. The purpose of the corrosion control chemical is to prevent lead and copper found in a building’s plumbing systems from leaching into water while the water sits in pipes. The Town has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WYDEQ) to change its approved CCT to dosing soda ash at the entry points to the distribution system. Over the next several weeks the Town’s water operators will be implementing a gradual transition from the sodium silicate to the soda ash chemical. During this time we will be performing increased monitoring and testing of water quality parameters to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and safely. During the transition period we anticipate that you will not notice any changes to the quality of your water.
This CCT change will offer several benefits to the Town and its residents:
Result in lower pH water in the water transmission lines from the Fremont Lake Treatment Plant to the entry points, ensuring that the Town can achieve the adequate chlorine contact time to comply with the EPA’s Surface Water Treatment Rule.
Use of a chemical that is easier to manage for the Town’s water operators. The soda ash that will be used for CCT will be a 10% solution, compared to the approximate 28% sodium silicate solution. Using a more diluted chemical will give the water operators more control in how much chemical is injected, creating a more stable pH which will reduce the potential for corrosion.
Soda ash is a well-known and frequently used chemical in drinking water treatment. The health effects of routinely ingesting sodium silicate (known as “liquid glass”) have not been well studied or documented.
The goal of the corrosion control treatment with soda ash will be to maintain a pH range of 9.0 to 9.5 within the Town’s distribution system. Maintaining a pH in that range is a proven method to reduce the potential for corrosion in homeowners plumbing systems. Even with optimized corrosion control treatment in place lead and/or copper can still leach into water from residents’ plumbing during times when the water sits stagnant for a period of time. Below are some tips from the EPA to reduce the potential for exposure to lead:
Run your water to flush out lead. If water hasn’t been used for several hours, run water for 15-30 seconds or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking. This will help flush lead-containing water from the pipes.
Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
Consider using a point-of-use device that filters out lead.
Test your water for lead. Call us at 367-4136 to find out how to get your water tested for lead.
Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves, including those advertised as “lead-free,” may contribute lead to drinking water. The law currently allows pipes, fittings, and fixtures with up to .25 percent weighted average of lead to be identified as “lead-free.”
The Town of Pinedale’s water operators are committed to providing you with safe and high quality water. If you have any questions or concerns please give me a call at 367-4136.
Spencer Hartman Town of Pinedale Water/Wastewater Supervisor 307-367-4136