Starting in October, Osceola Water Works will begin transitioning to winter maintenance and will be making a change in the treatment process. Residents may notice a difference, but will have no cause for concern.
In early October, the water works department will begin the annual fire hydrant flushing program. This process is a way to perform routine maintenance on the hydrants and to clean out sediment in the water mains. Department employees will open the fire hydrants and allow them to flow freely for a short period of time. Residents may notice slight discoloration or trace amounts of sediment in their water, but should not be alarmed. If you notice darkened or rusty water coming from your tap, simply let the water run for a few minutes until it runs clear again.
Also during this time, the Osceola Water Works will make a temporary change in the disinfectant used in water treatment. Osceola’s annual switch from chloramines to free chlorine is a common practice in water treatment. Free chlorine is a stronger disinfectant than chloramine, but it also creates byproducts that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, so it cannot be used year-round. The use of ammonia with chlorine – chloramines – reduces or eliminates these byproducts and help your Osceola Water Works department continue to provide clean and safe drinking water for all residents. This proactive cleansing step, used in conjunction with hydrant flushing, ensures that Osceola Water Works can maintain the best levels of disinfection throughout the water system and eliminate harmful bacteria in the water mains and pipes in the city.
From October 5th through November 15th, residents may notice a stronger chlorine odor and taste in their tap water due to the change in disinfecting products. While this change poses no risk to the people of Osceola, we recommend the testing of any water being added to aquariums or ponds to avoid harming fish or other animals. Pet stores or fish supply stores should have additives to remove free chlorine or chloramine from water used in fish tanks or ponds. Residents who are sensitive to chlorine will want to keep an open container of tap water in the refrigerator to allow the chlorine to naturally dissipate and reduce the taste and smell of the water.
The Osceola Water Works department is dedicated to bringing the residents of Osceola the safest and best-tasting water in Southern Iowa,” said Water Works Superintendent Brandon Patterson. “Through annual hydrant-flushing and strong, safe disinfectants, they will continue to work hard to meet the needs of the people of Osceola.”