Water Treatment Plant Health Effects in Niagara Falls

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Researched by: Jameieka Price Mentored by Research Scientist of the Geography Department and Great Lakes Center: Dr. Charlotte RoehmINTRODUCTION

Chlorinations main purpose is to kill bacteria, algae, microorganisms and other water borne pathogens. It sanitizes and oxidizes to keep water free of bacteria. Chlorination is used in municipal water treatment plants to disinfect water particularly for Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Cryptosporidium. The problem with chlorination is that the chlorine by-products and the concentration of residual chlorine can cause alternative adverse health effects such as cancer and. As a result federal regulations have been made to set standards to minimize these risks. Sink and shower water from a range of households in Niagara County Household was tested to determine the levels of chlorine in the water were high enough to affect public health and if the municipal treatment plants are in compliance with the laws and regulations.Are Chlorine Levels in Niagara County Household Water During the Winter / Spring Season Within the United States Laws and Regulation Standards: Field Research


The researched involved testing 15 participant households selected in the urban, industrial and agricultural areas; of Niagara County refer to figure 1-4. The study involved both a physical and social science aspect. Each primary member of the household was asked to fill out a questionnaire in order to determine potential exposure to chlorine in the water. A chlorine testing kit ( figure 7) was used to test the free and total chlorine in the household water refer to figure 7a and 7b. Figure 6 shows how a disinfection agent like chlorine breaks down waste water so it can be purified once it reaches the household. A pH meter was used to determine how acidic or alkaline the water was and a thermometer was used to measure the temperature of the water.RESULTS

0.5 mg/l is the maximum contaminant level for the free and total chlorine allowed in households imposed by laws refer to table 1. Concentrations of chlorine in the households were in the range of 0.5 mg/l to 1.1 mg/l refer to figure 5 . The industrial and urban households had higher concentrations of both free and total chlorine. The pH was found to be in the neutral range of 6.5. The temperature of the warm water was approximately 89 F and the cold water was approximately 52 F.The fraction of Free residual to Total chlorine ranged ( which is a percentage of the total and depends on pH) between 0.2 mg/l and 0.5 mg/l for the free chlorine and 0.4 mg/l 0.8 mg /l and was negatively correlated to pH refer to figure 8.EPAWHOEPAWHOSDWACombined ClCombined ClResidual ClResidual ClResidual Cl0.5 mg/l3mg/l4 mg/l0.3 mg/l0.2 mg/l


The researched determined that the water treatment plant in Niagara County is not in compliance when treating water with chlorine. The results of both the questionnaire and physical measurements of this study, show that some participants are at risk of exposure to chlorination. The Agricultural area had low risk factors for the usage of water and the Urban and Industrial area had intermediate health risk factors for using the water on a daily basis. The household that had the highest fraction of chlorination levels was in the industrial area and the water appeared cloudy. Temperature and pH determines the outcome of the chlorinated water in this case there was no correlation between temperature and pH.RECOMMENDATIONSTo maintain clean water with lower chlorine levels in households, it is recommended to use a shower and sink filter or to boil water. This removes the chlorine and other contaminants. There is also the option of putting chlorine in the tap water yourself with correct proportions. Contact your local health department and a professional can determine how much chlorine is in your water. The Environmental Protection Agency has a wealth of chlorination information at www.epa.gov

Figure 5 Regulation Standards For ClWH0 World Health Organization ; SWDA Safe Water Drinking Act ; EPA- Environmental Protection AgencyTable 1 Regulation Standards for ChlorineLasalleWater Treatment PlantNiagara River

Figure 1 Urban AreaFigure 2 Industrial AreaFigure 3 Agricultural AreaFigure 4 Map of Niagara CountyFigure 6 Steps for Purifying Waste WaterFigure 7 Chlorine Testing KitFigure 7a & 7b Samples of free and total Cl7a Chlorinated Water7b Chlorine free WaterFigure 8 Percent Contribution of Free & Total ClFigure 9 Average Concentration levels