GCWD Public Notice

In Uncategorized by Jeremy Woosley

This notice applies to all customers being served by the GCWD Water Treatment Plant. As you have read in the previous public notice, GCWD is currently using a new disinfection treatment technique on the raw water, for a trial period at the GCWD Water Treatment Plant.

We are aware that some customers are experiencing odors in their homes and are concerned they are coming from their water. As many water systems are, GCWD has been working to further lower the chance of having issues with disinfection by- product control. The Kentucky EPA / Division of Water, has provided GCWD with an approval for a trial use of Chlorine Dioxide to assist in reducing these chances. GCWD began using Chlorine Dioxide as a pre-filter oxidant, back in early December 2023. Chlorine dioxide is used to disinfect drinking water around the world. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlorine dioxide is added to drinking water to protect people from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. EPA recognizes chlorine dioxide use as a drinking water disinfectant, and it is included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.

Uses: The most common use in water treatment is as a pre-oxidant prior to chlorination of drinking water to destroy natural water impurities that would otherwise produce trihalomethanes on exposure to free chlorine. Trihalomethanes are suspect carcinogenic disinfection by-products associated with chlorination of naturally occurring organics in the raw water. Chlorine dioxide is less corrosive than chlorine and superior for the control of Legionella bacteria. It is also superior to some other secondary water disinfection methods in that chlorine dioxide is an EPA-registered biocide, is not negatively impacted by pH, does not lose efficacy over time (the bacteria will not grow resistant to it), and is not negatively impacted by silica and phosphates, corrosion inhibitors. It is more effective as a disinfectant than chlorine in most circumstances against waterborne pathogenic agents such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa – including the cysts of Giardia and the oocysts of Cryptosporidium.

Suspect Cause of Odor: When a water tap is opened, small amounts of chlorine dioxide diffuse into the air and combine with potentially reactive household compounds. All homes have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the ambient air produced by scented products (soaps, candles, air fresheners, incense, potpourri), cleaning agents or solvents, paint, carpet, furnishings, fresh flowers or wreaths, and many other common household items. Studies have not identified any health concerns associated with this combined odor. The strongest odors are associated with installing new carpet, upholstered furniture or draperies and interior painting. The odor will continue until the level of VOCs decreases (new smell goes away). This can take from a few weeks up to several months to dissipate depending on the situation, type of materials, amount of ventilation, etc. In enclosed areas with little ventilation, such as laundry rooms, basements, bathrooms and closets, these compounds will accumulate, so the odor will tend to be stronger or last longer than in well-ventilated areas. Increasing ventilation by opening windows and turning on fans will help to eliminate the odors more quickly.

 Grayson County Water District has a Chief Water Treatment Plant operator with over 30 years of experience in water quality control and is working along with a group of Professional Water Treatment Consultants, (Thornton, Musso, & Bellemin), to ensure the highest quality and safety standards for your water are met, during this trial period with Chlorine Dioxide. Although colorless, odorless water is aesthetically pleasing, it does not always indicate that regulatory standards are being met. Our responsibility to our customers first and foremost will always be to provide safe, high quality drinking water which complies with all water quality standards required by EPA KYDOW. Unfortunately, to currently meet those standards, there may be temporary issues of displeasing odors, which in time we believe will diminish. We appreciate the patience of our consumers while we work diligently to provide both the high quality and aesthetically appealing water that they deserve and have come to expect from Grayson County Water District.

As always, if you have more concerns or would like more information, please call our office. 270-259-2917