Brainerd questions water chlorination after contamination
The town of Brainerd in Minnesota is questioning the idea of adding chlorine to its water supply on a permanent basis after recent contamination. Although the city currently uses chlorine sparingly, it is considering the option of following the trend of other towns and using it all the time. Residents are concerned about the impact on the taste of the water.
Brainerd is one of the few locations that does not add chlorine to its water on a routine basis. Instead, it handles contamination on a case by case basis and adds the chemical if it is needed. Recently, a water main burst forced the town to use chlorine to kill bacteria, and it raised questions about the water supply.
The Brainerd Public Utilities Commission is in the process of gathering data about permanent water chlorination in the town, but it is also collecting responses from residents. Many people are worried about the taste of the water once chlorine is added to it all the time. They argue that the city is known for its pure water, so the chemical will jeopardize businesses such as breweries and fish hatcheries.
Residents argue that they are always aware of the smell and taste of chlorine if it has to be added due to contamination. Although they are not opposed to using the chemical on occasion, they prefer that it not become a permanent process. However, not everyone is against the idea of using chlorine because some people believe it will make the water safer and prevent problems such as the recent boil notices. They also point out that it is easy to buy and install water purifiers and filters that can eliminate the taste of chlorine. There are YouTube videos that can guide a person through the entire process, and this video on how alkaline ionizers work is an example of how filters can be used.
Minnesota allows cities to make their own decisions on water chlorination, and Brainerd is still considering it. It already has fluoride, so some residents believe the extra step of added chlorine should not be difficult and would help avoid contamination issues from appearing in the future. On the other hand, other residents are resisting the idea and do not believe the town should copy other cities that have changed their water supply.
Image: Wikimedia Commons