RWSA, Do Not Use Chloramines in Our Drinking Water
By Galen Staengl
To be delivered to:
Charlottesville City Council, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority
We the undersigned are greatly concerned about the RWSA’s proposed use of chloramines as a secondary water treatment chemical for Charlottesville and the surrounding area. Given the reported levels of chlorine byproducts in our drinking water, and the RWSA’s targets for the chlorine byproducts reported in the Hazen & Sawyer executive summary provided by RWSA, we don’t understand why it is necessary to change secondary treatment methods, and call on the RWSA to clarify the reasoning for changing the water treatment method.
Furthermore, we are strongly opposed to the use of chloramines in our water supply for the following reasons:
• The EPA’s own reports on chloramines indicate that there has been little study on the affect of water treated with chloramines on human health and natural ecosystems.
• There is evidence that byproducts formed during the use of mono-chloramine as a disinfectant may be mutagenic and carcinogenic. Use of chloramines has also been associated with numerous health problems including respiratory issues.
• There is strong evidence that drinking water treated with chloramines kills fish and amphibians if released into the aquatic environment.
• It has been well demonstrated (during the lead scandal in Washington DC) that the use of chloramines in drinking water causes increased leaching of lead and copper from copper piping. This can cause very high lead levels in drinking water, and is a major threat to human health.
For these reasons we urge the Board of Supervisors, City Council and the RWSA to re-evaluate the need for a new water treatment method. If indeed a new treatment method is required, we strongly urge the Board of Supervisors, Council and the RWSA to utilize a safer water treatment method to preserve human health and the health of our streams.
Citizens in 7 states are fighting the use of chloramine compounds as disinfectants. They have been shown to leach large amounts of lead and copper from piping, causing dangerously high levels in drinking water. Chloramine byproducts are carcinogenic, and have been associated with numerous health problems. Chloramine byproducts are also a danger to the aquatic environment, from drinking water releases.