Water Supplies and Sodium Hypochlorite

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Spoke with the chief of the Office of Emergency Services here in Mountain View yesterday. He was rather upbeat about water supplies in the Santa Clara valley come January 1, 2000. Ground water aquifers contain mare water than they have in years. Mountain View supposedly has three weeks worth of diesel/gas supplies for back-up, generator-powered pumps.

The one possible achilles heel regarding water supplies in this area (and perhaps others) is that the water is chlorinated using solid sodium hypochlorite rather than chlorine gas. It turns out that sodium hypochlorite has a shelf life of as little as three days in warm climates; as long as two to three weeks in colder temperatures.

Mountin View is planning to have a three-week supply of sodium hypochlorite on hand as of New Year's Day. HOWEVER if supplies of the chlorinating chemical are interrupted, the City may not be able to fully sanitize the water supply in late January. Folks may be reduced to alternate purification methods; iodine tablets, boiling (if they have a source of heat).

Anybody with a nose-for-news might want to make similar inquiries in their own communities.

Any comments, Diane Squire?

Brian -----

-- Brian E. Smith (besmith@mail.arc.nasa.gov), May 06, 1999


This kind of information is what makes the Forum so useful.It really helps being able to throw the curved ball at officialdom.

Thanks Brian.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), May 06, 1999.

At least they have generators! Our local, small, rural water agency JUST installed a plug so that they can utilize a generator if needed. They don't want to spend $$ to buy a generator, said they would just RESERVE one. Also doing NO INDEPENDENT TESTING - relying solely on component manufacturers to assure compliance. Their components also heavily rely on telecom.

Going to their monthly board mtg. tonight - should be interesting (or inspire me to store more water!)


-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), May 06, 1999.


As you know, my community falls under the jursdiction of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. I did a lot of roaming and cant find out if they use sodium hypochlorite or not.

Ill phone.


Great water links off their links area ...

Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD)


The Quality of Your Drinking Water

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/wtrqual/

Treatment Process and Treatment Plants
Pipeline Newsletter PDF

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/wtrqual/images/wqpdf1.pdf

Talks about plans for Water Treatment Improvement. Small mention ...

... changing from chlorine to ozone for primary disinfection of the water ...

Pipeline Newsletter Extra PDF

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/wtrqual/images/wqpdf2.pdf

Water District Laboratory

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/wtrqual/lab.htm

The monthly water quality report (link to Summary) shows the quality of source (untreated) water at each of the District's three water treatment plants, and the treated water which the District delivers to water retailers in Santa Clara Valley.

March 1999

http:/ /www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/wtrqual/lab99/labmar99.htm

Graph/chart of chemicals ... dont see sodium hypochlorite listed.

Needs a phone call. Left message on voice mail.

District Lab Contact:
Jim Scott (408) 265-2607, extension 2119, or

See also ...

Hot Topics

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/hottopic/index.cfm

Year 2000 (Y2K)

March 1999 Aquafacts Article

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/hottopic/y2k1.htm


... Like most prudent public agencies, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has been preparing for the date change in one form or another over the past seven years.

Since 1992, the district's information technology/information systems have been under review to identify potential shortfalls and make corrections before the year 2000 is upon us.

Likewise, water supply systems used to provide drinking water for the valley's nearly 1.7 million residents have been under evaluation since 1995, resulting in an appropriate program to ensure that the water supply is uninterrupted. ...


... Our internal project teams consist of business and technical professionals who have the support of the district's executive leaders. Our goal is to maintain business as usual, making the year 2000 date change a non-event for our customers.

However, it is important to remember that California is a hazard-rich environment where people are exposed to the dangers of earthquakes, floods, drought, hazardous materials spills, winter storms, urban fires and other natural disasters, making emergency preparedness a common-sense good idea.

As such, we're recommending that everyone follow the emergency preparedness recommendations of emergency services agencies that apply to all emergencies. This includes keeping a modest stock of essential supplies, such as food, drinking water, prescription drugs, clothing, camping gear and cash.

August 26, 1998 Report from General Manager Stan Williams (Y2K statement)

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/hottopic/82698report.htm

See also ...

Related (Water) Site Links Index

[Awesome amount of links and sub-links ... requires more exploration] ...

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/otherlnk/index.htm

Water ... links has extensive listing ...

Water Agencies
Public and private agencies supplying water and water-related services ...

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/otherlnk/wtrlinx.htm

California, Local
California Associations
California State Agencies
Federal Agencies
General Water Information
Conditions and Research
Professional Associations
Santa Clara County
San Francisco Bay and Delta
Surface Water
Water Quality
Water Conservation
Mailing Lists (For District staff only)
Newsgroups (For District staff only)

Also ...

Hazardous Materials and Safety

http:// www.scvwd.dst.ca.us/otherlnk/hazlinx.htm

Environmental Protection Agency Chemical Substance Fact Sheets - EPA factsheets on 324 chemicals, searchable by keyword


Searched for sodium hypochlorite and ended up at ...

The Environmental Defense Fund's Chemical Scorecard summarizes information about health effects, hazard rankings, industrial and consumer product uses, environmental releases and transfers, risk assessment values and regulatory coverage.

http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-profiles/ summary.tcl?edf_substance_id=7681-52-9

Found sub-links leading to ...

Vermont SIRI MSDS - Site Two

http://siri.org/msds/ index.html

Returns a list of sodium hypochlorite hits ...

http://siri.org/msds/index/gw.cgi?query=sodium+ hypochlorite&whole=partial&start=0

Picked one hit ... International Chemical Safety Cards ...



http:// siri.org/msds/mf/cards/file/0482.html


... The substance decomposes on heating, on contact with acids and under influence of light producing toxic and corrosive gases including chlorine (see ICSC # 0126). The substance is a strong oxidant and reacts with combustible and reducing materials. The solution in water is a medium strong base. ....


The substance is toxic to aquatic organisms.


... Household bleaches usually contain about 5% sodium hypochlorite (about pH11, irritant), and more concentrated bleaches contain 10-15% sodium hypochlorite (about pH13, corrosive). ...

[Chemical used in Clorox bleach].

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 06, 1999.


I was out but the Water District Lab Contact: Jim Scott (408) 265- 2607, extension 2119, or jimscott@scvwd.dst.ca.us -- left a phone message to say the South Bay's Santa Clara, SCVWD, DOES use sodium hypochlorite for treatment.


Ill try to chat directly, next week.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 07, 1999.

I use sodium Hypochlorite to treat water daily. This is what determines the life of the product in the water. Sunshine. The Sun will draw any cholorine product into the air, out of the water. Heat will do it also. When you heat water the gas will be driven off. Boiling water is the Oxygen trying to leave. But since it is open to the air, it is re-absorbing oxygen as it gives it off. Cholorine adds oxygen to the water. Look on a bottle of bleach, It says Oxidizer. Oxygen tries to return to the air.

If you use bleach or any other product that will oxidize, trying to purify water, you are adding extra oxygen to the water. If you want to keep the cholorine in the bottle or jug, keep it in a dark room and tightly closed. Keep the jug or bottle as full as possible.

Do not leave the bleach container in the sunlight, as the sun will draw the cholorine out of the container and your bleach will be useless.

The water Company will add the cholorine to the water in a pump building without sunlight. The city water is underground, in pipes.The water is tested for cholorine at the point that is at the end of their system. Out in the boonies somewhere. The cholorine cannot escape. The reason they test for cholorine at the end of their system is to make sure it is still active. It becomes inactive when it is oxidizing something. Germs are destroyed by extra oxygen. If you get too much oxygen you will die also.

Hydrogen Peroxide also adds oxygen to water. It too can be used to clean water.

If you use Cholorine in your pool, you will get a better kill of bacteria, if you treat it after the sun goes down. It will not take very much chemical if used at nite.

At a Waste Treatment Plant where they process your sewage water, the last step in the treatment process is letting the water fall down a series of concrete steps, back to the river or stream. By falling down the steps, and splashing, oxygen is added to the water, killing any bacteria in the water.

-- (Ludlow@bellsouth.com), June 07, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ