By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH - Water customers on Vero Beach may have a slightly different taste in their mouths for the next month.
Routine maintenance on the city's water treatment plant will run from Aug. 12 through Sept 15 and it will include changing the type of disinfectant used for the system, water and sewer officials said.
John Ten Eyck, assistant water and sewer director for Vero Beach, said the normal disinfectant, chlorine mixed with ammonia, also known as chloramines, will be replaced for the next month with free chlorine.
The chloramines have a longer lasting bacteria-fighting power, even though they are a slightly weaker chemical, Mr. Ten Eyck said.
The free chlorine dissipates faster but is a stronger chemical and will ensure water customers are receiving extra protection against bacteria in the water, he said.
"With our long distribution system and a seasonal population, it benefits us to use chloramines. About two times a year we switch to the stronger disinfectant for a while to kill any extra bacteria," Mr. Ten Eyck said.
Some customers may taste a change, or even notice a different odor in their tap water in August and September, but the change in chemicals will not require customers to boil their water or purchase new water filters. The water is perfectly safe to consume, city staff said.
Individuals with tropical fish, or people and businesses that use kidney dialysis machines, may need to make adjustments to maintain the water quality necessary for those operations.
Letters and public notices have been sent to hospitals and dialysis centers to ensure that any organization with need for specialized water will have plenty of notice and can make changes if necessary, Mr. Ten Eyck said.
For more information, call (772) 978-5220 or visit www.covb.org.