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Water/Waste Processing e-News / Municipal

Faulty valve causes chlorine leak at Missouri water treatment plant

June 17, 2014
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A water treatment plant in Columbia, Missouri, was shut down briefly Friday after a chlorine leak was discovered. Firefighters responded to the scene and found a faulty valve on a tank containing one ton of the chemical, WLTX reported.

The fire department responded to the incident at 300 Laurel Street late on June 13, sending a crew that managed to stop the leak. Fortunately, the chemical scrubbing protection system installed at the plant activated and contained the spill in the area where the leak started. The situation was under control around an hour and a half later. The fire crew remained on scene to help the water treatment plant return to normal operations.

There were 26 workers at the facility when the incident occurred, but no injuries were reported.

Columbia switched to free chlorine from chloramines to clean its water supply in May, following a recommendation made by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. City water production manager Mike Anderson said last month that the Columbia Water and Light Department would use the chemical to disinfect drinking water until the end of August.

The city has used chloramines for its water treatment processes since 2009 following tests showing that this method could help limit the high levels of a cancer-causing compound, known as trihalomethane, recorded in Columbia's drinking water at that time. Chloramines are formed when ammonium sulfate is added to chlorine to treat drinking water.

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