By Ralph Zeltman
The City of Fort Lauderdale Public Works Department is currently performing their water maintenance treatment program at their water treatment plant to eliminate the nitrification build-up in their water distribution system. The City has temporarily changed from their normal water disinfection method using chloramines (chlorine and ammonia) to a free chlorine maintenance treatment that began on May 10, 2016 and will continue until June 14, 2016.
This treatment process is performed in conjunction with periodic flushing of designated fire hydrants throughout the City’s water distribution system to eliminate the objectionable nitrification build-up in dead-end mains and/or water distribution mains with extremely low flow velocities.
Most utility customers will notice the difference in odor and taste once the heavily chlorinated treated water arrives at their faucets. Simply stated, nitrification more readily develops when the chloramines treated water is exposed to warm temperatures and experiences low flow velocities in the distribution mains resulting in greater periods of time before the water arrives at your faucet.
This explains why these routine maintenance treatment programs are more frequently performed in the Summer when temperatures are at their warmest and the tourist population diversity factor is at its lowest, especially along the coastal beach areas where the water demands have been greatly diminished. Any questions regarding the City’s water treatment maintenance program should be directed to the City’s Customer Service at (954) 828-8000.