Chlorinated Water Not Tasty to Some

1 decade 6 months 2 weeks ago March 16, 2006 Mar 16, 2006 Thursday, March 16 2006 Thursday, March 16, 2006 1:45:39 PM CST in News

Everett Baker, a Department of Natural Resources environmental engineer, designs and approves water line and well construction in mid-Missouri counties. Clean drinking water has been his business for 35 years. Last year, Baker advised Callaway County to start chlorinating its public water wells, which the county did.

"It was in their advantage to voluntarily chlorinate," explained Baker. "The department didn't tell them to, they weren't required to, but we certainly advised them to."

The water district began chlorinating Fulton's closest well last December. The district has chlorinated five wells since then, with one to go.

"The main reason we add the chlorine is to disinfect the water," Baker added, "that is, to kill harmful organisms in the water that could cause disease, bacteria, viruses and parasites."

But, some people said they can taste a difference.

"There's a lot of chlorine in the water," said Calwood resident Tony Wright. "And, as my dad says, it's kind of like you are on vacation. When you take a shower, it's like you are in a hotel."

The water district continuously pumps and monitors chlorine gas through Callaway County's 700 miles of lines. Some people estimate it will take 3-4 years to clean all the water.

Callaway's new system means residents will constantly have chlorinated water. Although it's good for safety, some aren't convinced it's the water for their cup of tea.

Baker admitted he prefered lime-infused soft water he drank while growing up, although he said Callaway's is pretty good now.

Bills for the 5,000 Callaway customers getting chlorinated water have not increased, but public water officials expect a slight increase by the end of this year.

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