Coping with chlorine: businesses and homeowners impacted

Friday, December 14, 2018
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Big Spring Spa owner Ray Rice uses the faucet at his business on East Main Street. For the past 10 years, the business has used an ECOSmarte point-of-entry water system to purify their water.”

Photo by Charlie Denison


As City water continues to be chlorinated in efforts to remove coliform bacteria, both businesses and residents look for remedies to remove the chlorine.

Some businesses were already protected from such a scenario. 

“This hasn’t affected us because we always filter our water,” said Big Spring Water office manager Andrea Wold. “We use a carbon filtration system, and we’ve used it for years.”

Wold added that Big Spring Water has been a little busier lately, as more people have inquired about whether or not their bottled water is chlorinated.

“These people have often bought water from us after finding out we have a way of removing the chlorine,” Wold said.

Big Spring Brewing also has a way of removing the chlorine from the City water they use to brew local beer.

“We installed a carbon filter to remove chlorine when we built the brew house,” said Head Brewer Aaron Sullivan. “We knew [the City] occasionally chlorinated the water and we wanted to make sure it would not affect our product.”

Brad McCardle, who manages the Central Feed Grilling Co. side of the brewery, said he is looking at getting a similar system for the restaurant. 

“We’ve had some customers complain about the smell in the ice and water,” McCardle said.

Harry’s Place owner Kim Ferrell said she has noticed the water tasting a little more chlorinated, but people haven’t complained. They have, however, asked for more lemon.

“Our waitress Linda Stiff read that lemon juice is a natural acid that can remove chlorine,” Ferrell said. “It seems to work.”



Systems available for home use

According to True Value Manager James Phelps, demand is increasing for water filters and water purification systems for the home.

“Both the Culligan whole house filters and the Pur filters have picked up in usage,” Phelps said. “The Culligan filter is used on the main line whereas the Pur is hooked up to individual faucets. Both help get rid of the taste and odor of chlorinated water.”

Ace Hardware Manager Nick Pennington, however, said he hasn’t noticed sales of water filters spiking in recent months.

“I’d say we’ve been selling the standard amount,” he said.

Big Spring Spa owners Ray and Linda Rice have their own treatment for the chlorinated City water: ECOSmarte’s point-of-entry water system. 

According to Ray, this water system “replaces water softeners and conditioners, iron filters, chemical feeders, taste and odor filters.”

For the past 10 years, Ray and Linda have used this water system, and they swear by it.

“Our whole house water purification system takes 99.9 percent of the chlorine out of the water,” Ray said. “The water tastes good and it feels wonderful,” Linda added. “It’s smooth, nice and salt-free.”

Ray and Linda were sold on the system shortly after they started working with ECOSmarte, a Minnesota-based manufacturing company that provides non-salt, non-chemical water technology for the whole house, swimming pool or spa.

According to ECOSmarte board member Mike Dewar, the company’s water purification system cleans water thoroughly.

“One of the huge advantages you have with the point-of-entry water system is it doesn’t just remove the chlorine but it also takes out the coliform,” he said. “Through an oxidation process, the system splits the water molecules and creates oxidation from the water itself…the result is water that tastes great, has no odor and is better absorbed by both plants and people.”

ECOSmarte was established in 1994. At the time, the system’s purpose was to dechlorinate swimming pools as much as possible, but their mission soon expanded into homes.

“I like to call it a bottled water factory for the house,” Dewar said. “That’s the easiest way to describe it. You have better-than-bottled water quality coming from each faucet.”

Despite the chlorinated City water, Ray said sales for this water system have not gone up.

“This is because so many people are not aware,” he said.