Councilman Larry Kramer Responds
to Water Questions
Melissa Kaffen wrote in the January CCS that she came away from the Water Forum with more questions than answers. Space does not allow me to answer all of her questions, but luckily there is another water forum scheduled for February wherein she may get more answers to her questions. I will attempt to answer just a couple of her questions here.
1. Why is the city adding chloramine to the GWRP water?
Chloramines are disinfectants used to treat drinking water. Water that contains chloramines and meets EPA regulatory standards is safe to use for drinking, cooking, bathing and other household uses. The California Department of Public Health (DPH) requires that we disinfect water served to the public.
The purpose of chloramines is to provide longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through pipes to consumers. Chloramines have been used by water utilities for almost 90 years. More than one in five Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines. The water that Metropolitan Water District (MET) provides to the City is disinfected using chloramines. There has been no link to any deteriation of water pipes or pinholes in pipes or equipment in research conducted by the EPA and AWWA (American Water Works Association). Chloramines are used in place of chlorine because of its less aggressive nature and longevity in a water system. (This information was obtained from the EPA website and officials at the City of San Juan Capistrano.)
2. Isn’t the GWRP defined as a “Regional Water Facility”? If so, why are SJC residents shouldering the entire cost of a “regional” plant?
Our GWRP is not used as a regional water facility. It serves only the households that are part of the city’s water service area. However, the GWRP does assist the region by reducing our dependence and need for MET water.
Ours is not the only facility in our area that reduces dependence on imported water. South Coast Water District (SOCWD), which primarily serves Dana Point, has a GWRP. San Clemente has a recycled water plant undergoing a $20 million expansion. Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD), which serves Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel, also has a recycled water plant, as does Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD). All water districts in our area are finding ways to reduce dependence on imported water and enhance reliability through system diversity.