City starts water treatment Monday

City Manager Holly Phelps

Monday will kick off a 45-day chlorination for the Lewistown’s water infrastructure, according to City Manager Holly Phelps.

Triggered by last summer’s positive coliform tests, the chlorination will put a specific concentration of chlorine in City water for 30 days. Instead of flushing the system, new measuring pumps will build up to the concentration.

“What will begin on Monday is, we’ll start introducing chlorine and it will slowly build up,” Phelps said. “It is 50 miles of infrastructure, so we’re anticipating 15 days to reach the entire structure.”

After the 15 days of buildup, the City will start counting for its required days of chlorination. Although Phelps wants people to be aware of the situation, she said the effects will be minimal for residents.

“[The effects are] no different than when we [shock] chlorinate,” she said. “You’ll smell it typically; it doesn’t really taste different. Most people notice it in the shower, or when it’s steam.”

The impact may be similar, but this process will be different from the City’s recent chlorinations. Phelps pointed out this round is preventative, and was not the result of bacteria being found.

“Our hope is that we do this and we basically ward off year-round fulltime chlorination,” she said.

The 45-day treatment is also longer and more precisely monitored than shocking, Phelps added.

“It provides a very consistent dose,” she said. “In the past, we’ve just chlorinated the tanks, so it’s kind of a shock: that’s a higher concentration for a short duration.”

The City of Lewistown worked with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and engineers to prepare for Monday’s chlorination, and invites anyone with questions or concerns to call Holly Phelps at 535-1760, or Public Works at 535-1770.

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