After six months of testing and with the blessing of the California Department of Health Services, the new Chlor-Amination System from Hammonds Technical Services, Inc. has found its first home in Pleasanton, Calif.
The new unit was on loan to this northern California town as part of a field test agreement that began in April 2002. Before long, the city's water division was so impressed with the equipment's use on one of their ground water wells, they quickly placed orders for two additional units.
"This has been a fantastic project," said Daniel Smith, Utilities Superintendent for the City of Pleasanton. "One of the unique things about the Hammonds' test unit is that it needed only minimal modification to get the results we wanted. This was a pleasant surprise -- usually that doesn't happen when test piloting new equipment."
The Hammonds Chlor-Amination System works like many of the products in Hammonds' full line of injector equipment. Using the company's patented delivery technology, the Chlor-Amination System pumps granular ammonium sulfate into a water chlorination system.
According to Smith, the City of Pleasanton (population 70,000) purchases 80 percent of its water (pretreated with a disinfectant) from a wholesaler. The remaining 20 percent is pumped from three ground water wells within the city. Combined, the three wells produce 12 million gallons of water a day and must similarly be treated with disinfectants. The City of Pleasanton was already using Hammonds' water chlorination system to add chlorine to the well water.
However, the water purchased from the wholesaler was treated with chloramines - or a combination of chlorine and ammonia. When chloraminated water mixes with chlorinated water, a negative reaction occurs. First, mixing the two actually drives down the residual disinfectant in the water, decreasing its protection against bacteria. Secondly, the mix creates taste and odor problems.
Smith says the City of Pleasanton considered adding liquid ammonia to the well water to achieve a consistent disinfection process. However, the inherent dangers in handling liquid ammonia - in addition to the proximity of the wells to an elementary school - made it an unrealistic alternative. According to Smith, testing Hammonds' new product seemed a natural solution.
"Hammonds has invented a way to feed dry ammonia as a means of chlorination that is unlike any system on the market today," said Rick Richardson, Hammonds' Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "In the case of our friends in Pleasanton, the new Chlor-Amination System has allowed them to improve safety, meet code compliance (since storage of a dry product is less restrictive than liquid materials) and lower their costs associated with installation, maintenance and materials."