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Abstract

The New Britain Water Department put on-line a new water treatment plant in April 2004 that uses different disinfectant, coagulant, and filter media than the conventional treatment that it was replacing. Even though the new water treatment plant will produce higher finished water quality, there is a concern that the change in water chemistry may cause problems in the distribution system that has pipes ranging from 10 to 150 years old. Potential problems that might arise are bacteria regrowth in the distribution system and release of iron and manganese from the walls of the water mains. To be able to quickly detect problems, the Water Department initiated a distribution system sampling program 2 1/2 years before the new treatment plant went on-line. This has provided the water department a baseline for comparing changes in water quality. For example, one location has had elevated turbidity and color measurements, but this was not inconsistent with the baseline data collected before the new plant went on-line. What potentially is more concerning is that the rate of chlorine decay in the distribution system has increased at locations close to the water treatment plant. By having baseline water quality data throughout the distribution system, this issue was identified and can be quickly addressed before any potential problems occur. Includes tables, figures.