During 2020, we will be working to further enhance the drinking water system in your community.
These activities may impact you. Here’s what to expect.
Central Florida Water
Toho Water Authority (Toho) operates the Harmony Water Treatment Plant to serve the community of Harmony. Toho’s water supply comes from the Upper Floridan aquifer, a natural underground reservoir. This aquifer is the primary source of water for all of Central Florida. The water is treated following state and federal requirements to meet national drinking water standards. While in compliance, treated water may also contain naturally occurring organics and hydrogen sulfide which can affect water quality. During 2020, Toho will be conducting operational activities to further enhance water appearance, odor, taste and quality.
What improvements are being made?
Toho is building a new aeration system at the treatment plant designed specifically to remove the hydrogen sulfide and reduce the potential for odors. The aeration system is expected to be completed by August 2020. The addition of this system to our existing treatment processes will further improve water appearance, taste, odor and quality.
What else is being done to increase water quality?
Along with the improvements at the Harmony plant, you will see a variety of operational activities throughout the community to help maintain and improve water quality including:
Free chlorine maintenance - This process temporarily replaces our standard chloramines disinfectant with free chlorine. Free chlorine maintenance is a common practice used by water utilities who use the chloramines treatment method as their standard disinfectant.
System flushing – System flushing involves releasing water from either fire hydrants or automatic flushing devices on the distribution system. This process helps enhance water quality, particularly areas where not all of the homes have been built yet. Flushing activities will reduce once the new aeration system is complete and as sections of the neighborhood are completed.
Why is the disinfectant being changed from chloramines to free chlorine?
This temporary change in disinfectant is a standard water treatment practice to keep water pipes clean and free of potentially harmful bacteria. This temporary use of free chlorine in the water treatment process helps ensure that bacteria do not form a resistance to the usual disinfection treatment process. Switching to free chlorine is a proactive step to maintain optimal levels of disinfection in the water distribution system. As always, the drinking water will be regularly monitored to make sure it meets state and federal drinking water standards.
Will I notice a change in my water during these maintenance activities?
With both flushing and free chlorine maintenance, customers may notice the following changes in their water:
Taste and smell - You may notice a stronger chlorine taste and smell in your drinking water. The taste and odor are not a health risk. Chlorine levels continue to meet safety standards. By its nature, free chlorine presents a stronger taste and odor than chloramines. To reduce the chlorine taste and smell, run the faucet with cold water for two minutes. Run it for five to 10 minutes when water has not been used for several hours. You can also refrigerate cold tap water in an open pitcher. Within a few hours, the chlorine taste and odor will disappear.
Discoloration and sediment – During this maintenance process you may also experience water discoloration and sediment. These occurrences can usually be resolved by running cold tap water for several minutes. If the problem persists, please contact our Customer Service Department at 407-944-5000. To avoid possible staining of clothes during washing, it is advised to wash clothes in the evenings or on weekends.
Do I need to take any precautions during the temporary switch?
Any disinfectant used by water treatment plants needs to be removed or neutralized from the water for use in dialysis machines or aquariums.
- Care must be taken to remove all traces of free chlorine from the water used in dialysis machines. Contact your physician or kidney dialysis center for information and proper procedures.
- To condition tap water for use in an aquarium, fish owners should use products recommended for neutralizing free chlorine. Contact your local pet store for the appropriate water treatment.
- Those customers with water softening systems should consult the manufacturer for measures to take, if any.
How long will the free chlorine maintenance process last?
This process may be performed once or twice per year over an eight-week time period. Residents will be informed of the free chlorine maintenance by mail and automated phone message. The schedule will also be available on this page.
Will the water be regularly tested during this period?
Yes, the free chlorine levels will be monitored and tested to make sure they are in compliance with state and federal drinking water standards.
What are the next steps?
Toho will continue to work to identify short and long term solutions that provide the service levels that our customers expect and deserve. Toho will continue to update this FAQ document as additional information or details are identified.
How is my water treated?
Water in the Floridan aquifer flows through many miles of rock and sand before it is withdrawn for public supply. As a result, water produced from the Floridan aquifer often requires the addition of a disinfectant as the only treatment requirement. Most utilities in the United States either use chlorine or chloramines as their disinfectant. At the Harmony plant, Toho uses chloraminess as the disinfectant. In certain locations, water produced from the Floridan aquifer may also contain naturally occurring organic material and hydrogen sulfide that requires additional treatment. In 2013, Toho added a further treatment process known as Magnetic Ion Exchange (MIEX) to remove these naturally occurring materials better.
Why do I sometimes notice a rotten-egg odor?
Naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide in the groundwater produces a rotten-egg odor. The MIEX process was anticipated to effectively reduce the hydrogen sulfide and associated odors at the Harmony plant, but has not been able to do so consistently. This is why we are implementing the improvements.
Is my water safe to drink?
Yes, the water is safe to drink and meets all state and federal regulations. You can review the water quality report that we produce annually at www.tohowaterqualityreports.com.
However, our goal is more than just complying with regulations, and we are working to improve the appearance, odor, taste and quality of the water that we deliver.
Where can residents find more information?
Residents can visit this page to find updates or contact Toho Water Authority’s Public Information Office at 407-944-5142 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.