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Yes. Chloramines have been used safely in the U.S. and Canada for many years, including in Pierre’s water supply. Chloramines are approved for water disinfection by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Chloramines kill disease-causing organisms that could be found in drinking water.
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The City of Pierre will begin distributing water from the new treatment facility the first week in December 2023. The transition from well water to treated water is expected to be complete by January 2023.
Normal customer water usage will help remove the well water from the system. Also, the Pierre Water Department will flush water from hydrants; this will help remove well water from pipes and storage tanks.
Flushing will primarily be from hydrants near the reservoirs.
There will be a transition period when well and treated water are comingled at your tap.
Arrival of new water at your tap depends on the rate of water usage, intensity of flushing and exchange of water in the storage tanks. The farther your house is from the water treatment plant, the longer it will take for the treated water to reach your house. Residences close to the water plant may receive treated water within a day of when treated water pumping begins. Residences farther from the water plant may receive treated water within a couple of weeks after pumping begins.
Flushing the system during the transition may cause temporary discoloration as deposits and residues are removed from the system. Although the discolored water is safe for drinking, clear discolored water from your plumbing by running cold water until the water runs clear.
Those living on a cul-de-sac or dead end line are more likely to see discoloration.
Treated river water will contain lower concentrations of iron and manganese so that the water will no longer stain sidewalks, appliances, fixtures, etc. The hardness of the water will be approximately 15 grains per gallon, about 30 percent lower than the well water, depending on which well serves water to your neighborhood. The dissolved mineral content will be lower by approximately 30 percent. Although the well water has chloramine residual disinfectant, the concentration varies throughout the City. The treated water will have a more consistent chloramine residual concentration, in the range of 2 to 3 mg/L.
The Pierre Water Department Staff will continue to sample and analyze treated water quality at the Pierre Water Treatment Plant and in the water distribution system to meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The treated water will contain a more consistent (and perhaps slightly higher) concentration of chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) disinfectant residual than the well water, so aquarium owners should use the same dechlorinating techniques but perhaps adjust the dosage to accommodate the more consistent residual. However, the new water pH (8.0 to 8.2) will be slightly higher than the current water pH (7.4 to 7.6), so pH adjustment may be necessary.
The new water supply will have a lower iron and manganese content, which means there is less potential for brown/black sediment being created in the system after the transition is complete. The new water source contains less hardness, so customers with water softeners can adjust their softener setting to use less salt for regenerating the softener. The new water also contains lower total dissolved solids, which means less spotting on dishes, faucets, fixtures, and shower doors when the water evaporates.
Yes. However, the treated water will contain less hardness than the well water. Since the new water contains lower hardness, changing the softener settings for the lower hardness (15 grains per gallon) will enable your softener to operate at its best efficiency, and use less salt than it did when softening the well water. Also, since the manganese and iron concentrations will be near zero, you should not need to use salt that contains “iron out”, “iron fighter” or “rust defense”.
Minimal customer impact is anticipated with this round of flushing. If you do notice water discoloration, run water unti it runs clear.
Four hydrants located near the reservoirs will be used for the majority of the transitional flushing. This compares to 252 hydrants used during the 2021 flushing program. Hydrants at dead ends will also be flushed, similar to maintenance flushes typically seen each summer.
Water heaters are not designed specific to water source therefore no adjustment is needed.
If you want to flush well water from your water heater, pleae consult your water heater's owner manual.
If you have additional questions about the water transition, contact Water Superintendent Dane Brewer at 605.773.7448 during normal business hours.