MARION, Ohio - Officials at Aqua Ohio Water Company are facing questions from Marion Community Leaders following some announced changes to their treatment process.
At last week's City Council Committee meetings, Councilman Ralph Cumston (D-1st Ward) raised concerns about what he called a lack of public notice regarding the addition of ammonia and chloramines to the water supply. Tom Schwing, a safety and compliance officer for Aqua, said the new process is meant to make the water saferamid "ever-tightening water quality regulations."
"It's a second line of defense," Schwing said, "We're adding chloramines that will exist longer in the water distribution to provide longer disinfection protection."
He said this chloramination process has been used in America for over forty years and will only mean trace amounts of ammonia are added. "We believe it is a very safe process, and it's very acceptable in the water industry for its use," said Schwing.
Aqua Ohio stated in a letter that the new treatment process would begin June 1. Officials with the company said they believe some community members are under the impression this change is being made as a cost-cutting maneuver by Aqua. Schwing said it will actually cost the company more money in capital and operating costs.
He said they company doesn't expect customers to see an increase in their water bill but Aqua is currently looking into raising prices over the long term.