People Concerned Over Adding Chloramine to Public Water

By: Suzanne Wilson, Bailey Disselkoen Email
By: Suzanne Wilson, Bailey Disselkoen Email

June 18, 2012

People concerned about the environmental and public health impacts of adding Chloramine to Charlottesville and Albemarle's public water systems hosted a teach-in Monday on the risks that the chemical poses to the community.

"We believe it is a big health issue and long term and short term issues. Secondary to that are the infrastructure issues in terms of damages plumbing, damages appliances," said Lorrie Delehanty, Medical Researcher.

About two dozen people packed into the Central Libraries McIntire room to sharing their thoughts on the possible side effects of chloramine.

"I don't think anything that kills marine life, I don't think I want to injest," said Nancy Carpenter, Albemarle County Resident.

Chloramine is a combination of Ammonia and Chlorine. The EPA is now requiring municipalities to treat water with more than just Chlorine and right now, local leaders are leaning towards using Chloramine.

"It is being used in 76 percent of the state of Virginia, near 46 percent of country uses these. Most large systems use chloramines and it's not creating the health problems," said Ken Boyd, Albemarle County Supervisor.

They say it's about a third of the cost of its alternatives; opponents say the chemical could be damaging from everything from water pipes to children's health.

Delahanty says not only it can kill aquatic life but it can side effects like burns, rashes and respiratory problems for people.

More than 500 people have signed a petition. It will be presented to the city council, board of supervisors and RWSA arguing against the sue of chloramine.

There will be a meeting Thursday, June 21 to discuss the issue.

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