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Public Notice: Chatham County Water Customers

Post Date:12/20/2019 4:58 PM

Beginning February 3, 2020, Chatham County Public Utilities will temporarily suspend the addition of ammonia to its water treatment disinfection process, as required by NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). Chatham County will resume the addition of ammonia to the water treatment disinfection process on March 2, 2020.

Chatham County Utilities uses both ammonia and chlorine to form chloramines for its disinfection process. Ammonia is added to the water in a carefully regulated dose and reacts chemically with the chlorine to produce chloramines. Chloraminated drinking water is safe for drinking, bathing, cooking and many other daily uses. NCDEQ requires all systems using chloramination to suspend the addition of ammonia for a one-month period annually. Chatham County will flush the water mains throughout the water system during this time to remove sediment in the water mains and refresh the entire distribution system.

During the changes in our disinfection process and flushing of the water system, three groups of people need to take special precautions for higher concentrations of chlorine – kidney dialysis patients, pre-treatment owners and aquatic pet owners using county water. Dialysis patients and aquatic pet owners already treat water they use for chlorine removal. Any customer who pre-treats county water for any process should be aware of this change and consult the manufacturer of any pre-treatment equipment for recommendations. 

Also, the flushing of water mains throughout the water system during this time may cause some discoloration and/or chlorine odor to the drinking water. The county water, however, will still be safe for drinking, bathing and other daily uses. While there are no associated health risks with the discoloration and/or odor, you may want to be sure water is clear of discoloration prior laundering light-colored items during this period. If you notice discoloration at the tap, allowing the water to run for 5 to 10 minutes should clear up the problem.

Customers with concerns or questions should contact the Chatham County Water Treatment Facility at 919-303-0055 or the county website at    



Larry Bridges

Public Utilities Director