The Daily Feed

Nothing Like The Smell of Chlorine in the Morning…

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Cameron Cassan’

Our friends over at Prince of Petworth recently asked the question “Why does a swimming pool come out of my faucet?” and an anonymous commenter delivered the news: From February 1st until May 17th, DC WASA changed the disinfectant used in its water treatment process from chloarmine (NH2Cl) to chlorine.

Chloramine is used for most of the year because it is far more stable than free chlorine and lacks the smell of chlorine. Chloramine is toxic to certain animals (e.g. fish) and is one of the reasons you need to age the water a few days or use product to make it safe. However, Chloramine is not as effective at sanitizing as free Chlorine. So WASA is effectively shocking the system.

You can read the DC WASA press release for more info

The Daily Feed

Here’s Sodium Hypochlorite In Your Water

Photo courtesy of
‘Spice #4′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

According to a NewsChannel8 report, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be swapping out the chlorine gas currently used to disinfectant 180 gallons of DC water for a liquid form of chlorine called sodium hypochlorite, more commonly known as bleach.

The main reason for the switch out is that sodium hypochlorite is safer to transport, store, and use, and therefore helps avoid the release of chlorine gas by accident or potentially by acts of terrorism.

The switch, schedule to begin next month, should not effect the taste or smell of the water supply, which currently flows to 1 million DC residents.

The Daily Feed

Fire suppression efforts in NW harmed by low water pressure

Photo courtesy of
‘The Washington Times’
courtesy of ‘Bogotron’

NBC Washington has video of the house that caught fire and was pretty much destroyed on Chain Bridge Road. In the video a neighbor asserts that the fire started on a corner of the porch and might have been contained if not for a lack of water for fire crews to use. One hydrant was out of service and others lacked sufficient water pressure.

It’s been almost two years since this issue caught local attention with a fire in Adams Morgan and another at the Georgetown Library. At the same time where was news of huge numbers of out of service hydrants. Two years ago WASA claimed they were ahead of schedule on testing out-of-service hydrants and would start a five-year program of replacement.

Perhaps we’re just continuing a local tradition of a disaster following an award. Catoe gets a commendation for being a transit leader and we have a horrible metro crash shorly thereafter. Less than two weeks ago WASA received an award for their innovative use of technology in managing water hydrants and we subsequently discover that several don’t work well.

WASA and Mayor Fenty will surely be fielding some hard questions about why this problem persists two years later.