City of Center Staff Explains Water Violation Notices

June 3, 2015 - CENTER, Texas (June 3, 2015) – Center utility customers will soon receive postcard notices containing mandatory language for a system violation for haloactic acid (HAA5) levels. This violation is for the quarterly testing of chemical byproducts created during the water treatment and disinfection process.

The City has two sources of raw surface water – Lake Pinkston and Center Lake. Certain environmental factors can make raw water more difficult to treat, including increased temperatures in summer, large amounts of rain, or the lakes ‘turning over’. These problems with raw water quality can be managed in the treatment process through enhanced chlorination. “The City uses chlorine to treat raw water so that it is safe for consumption,” explained Marcus Cameron, Center Water Superintendent.

Chlorine ensures the removal of bacteria or other harmful organisms and controls the taste and odor quality.
“If the raw water is of a poorer quality, then we have to enhance our treatment process.” However, the extra chlorine can produce byproducts that the federal government mandates be monitored. After receiving the test results, the City increased the amount of ammonia used in the treatment process which eliminates the free chlorine that caused this violation.

Center City Manager Chad Nehring described a difficult water treatment process as a very delicate balancing act, “Staff has to make sure that enough chlorine is used to treat the water so it is not only safe to drink but also aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately controlling taste and odor can lead to violations such as this.”

The reporting and monitoring of HAA5 is on a rolling twelve month average. It is anticipated to take at least two additional quarters before the notices are no longer required. Customers will receive notices with the required mandatory language until the rolling average is within established parameters. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Center City Hall at 936/598-2941.