Officials: Employees failed to report spike in chlorine dioxide in Ithaca water system

The City of Ithaca has sent out a notice to residents saying that the city had a chlorine dioxide residual reading greater than the maximum residual level that was not initially reported by staff.

Officials say any chlorine dioxide readings above 0.80 mg/l trigger samples to be taken in the distribution system the next day.

However, it wasn’t reported by staff.

The City reportedly uses chlorine dioxide to “help lower natural organics in the source water, to lower disinfection byproducts produced and to help with any taste and odor problems.”

On February 5th at 4 p.m. a sample reading of 1.58 mg/l was pulled. Two other samples that day came in under 0.45 mg/l.

“Due to this monitoring violation, we cannot prove that the distribution system was not compromised and as such must provide the EPA required “Standard Health Effects Language”, even though it may not be specific to what actually occurred,” the City said in a statement.

“We do not feel that there is any reason for concern. Our numbers have been within limits, on a regular basis leaving the water plant and into the distribution system. We do not think that has changed. We have had “blips” in analysis before, but re-checks show a lower number. This is normally an analysis issues,” the statement added.

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