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Potable water at what price?

New disinfectant lasts longer, has ecological impact

The water some Charlton residents get from Southbridge’s public water supply will soon have something new in it: Chloramines, not the chlorine that has been used to disinfect it. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
February 01, 2011
CHARLTON — Charltonians getting public water from Southbridge are about to see a change in how their water is disinfected.

But some research indicates that might not be so good if you're a fetus or a fish.

According to Southbridge's outgoing DPW Director Hamer Clarke last week, the water department is switching from chlorine to chloramines to meet new state byproduct limits that take effect in 2013.

"Chloramines are more stable and longer-lived, and less likely to interact with the pipes, organic materials and other things in the system," he said. "… The stability is important. Once you get out into the external areas, you're losing your residual chlorine — and that's within the town of Southbridge."

Clarke said Charlton officials are well aware of the change, and Water-Sewer Commissioner Robert Lemansky agreed.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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