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Charlotte County Utilities changing disinfection process for drinking water supply

Posted at 9:28 AM, Mar 08, 2023

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommended Charlotte County Utilities, in conjunction with the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, will temporarily change the disinfection process for its potable (drinking) water supply.

DEP suggested the change because a person died. The Charlotte County Health Department said, the person was infected by an amoeba and it may have happened when the person used tap water as a nasal rinse.

The change will begin on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, and last through Sunday, May 14, 2023. The water will be disinfected with free chlorine rather than chlorine combined with ammonia (chloramines).

This conversion to free chlorine from chloramines allows the utility to perform a distribution system purge as recommended by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for water utilities using chloramines as their primary disinfectant.

In a press release, a “free chlorine conversion”, as it is known, is a common practice by public water systems that use chloramines to periodically increase the level of disinfectant residual throughout the distribution system.

Charlotte County Utilities says the water will remain safe to drink throughout this process and boiling water is not necessary.

They say customers may notice a change in the taste and smell of the water. The water may discolor laundered clothes. Homeowners should flush any cloudy or discolored water that may enter the plumbing by running a faucet for several minutes or until the water runs clear.

For information on preventing waterborne germs, go to

  • Customers on kidney dialysis who use a proportioning machine to prepare dialysate at home are advised to contact their physician or equipment supplier to obtain the appropriate steps to accommodate the change in water disinfection and to install the proper filtering devices if needed.
  • Customers using the water for aquariums should monitor the chlorine residuals and are advised to contact a professional aquarist to ensure proper pretreatment of the water before adding or changing the water in the tank to avoid any problems associated with chlorine.
  • The utility will flush the water distribution system in conjunction with this change in the process. The flush will allow the free chlorine to move quickly throughout the distribution system.