Lewiston swaps water treatment to only chlorine

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LEWISTON – Starting today and for the next two weeks, the Lewiston Water Division will use only chlorine versus chloramines to disinfect the drinking water.

“This temporary seasonal switch is a part of regular annual maintenance to enhance disinfection of the water system,” Deputy Director of Public Services Kevin Gagne said in a prepared statement.

City crews will flush lines in neighborhoods to change the water in the system, and after two weeks of chlorine use and flushing, the Lewiston Water Division will restart the use of chloramines as the city’s regular disinfectant.

Both chloramine and chlorine are disinfectants that destroy potentially harmful bacteria. Chloramine is a form of disinfectant produced by combining chlorine with ammonia. Chloramines have been used in Lewiston since March 2005 and have lowered the byproducts in the drinking water. Prior to that, Lewiston used chlorine for primary disinfection for decades.

Gagne noted that during the two-week period, people may experience a different taste or odor to the water, smelling like chlorine or showing some discoloration or sedimentation. If the water is discolored, run it for two to three minutes before using. If discoloration persists, contact the Lewiston Water Division at 784-5753; TTY/TDD: 784-5999, or visit www.ci.lewiston.me.us.

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