Residents of Huntertown are being notified of a change that will affect the water delivered to their homes and businesses.
A flier from the Allen County town notes that the water treatment plant will be changing the disinfection process from free chlorine to monochloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia that has, according to the American Water Works Association, "been widely and successfully used as a drinking water disinfectant since 1917."
For those on dialysis, it's a significant switch. Water treated with monochloramine should not be permitted to directly enter the bloodstream during that process, so "some modifications may be necessary" for those who are on a dialysis machine. There are no restrictions regarding the drinking of the tap water.
Those who have aquariums will also need to make adjustments, since monochloramine can be toxic to fish, reptiles and amphibians. For these marine animals, the chemical can directly enter the bloodstream and make it difficult for cells to carry oxygen, causing suffocation.
There are treatments that can be applied to the water so it may be used in aquariums.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 30 percent of the United States’ large water systems currently use monochloramine at some point in their systems, with that number currently rising.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says use of the compound "does not cause harmful health effects and provides protection against waterborne disease outbreaks," so long as levels are kept within established parameters.