Jul 16, 2008

Michigan City Sees Prices of Treatment Chemicals More than Double

Bay City, Mich., officials report increase is the result of rising fuel costs for transportation and chemical processing

Bay City, Mich., officials say the prices of chemicals used in treating the city’s drinking water have more than doubled this year, the result of increased fuel costs for transportation and chemical processing, the Bay City Times reported.

For the fiscal year that began July 1, Bay City budgeted $305,000 for water treatment chemicals, but John A. DeKam, superintendent of Bay City’s Water Treatment Plant, reported that based on recent bid prices, those expenditures are going to be more than $610,000.

Residents’ water rates went up July 1, and according to city commissioners, residents’ water rates will not go up again unless chemical prices don’t come down.

DeKam said prices usually increase 3% to 5% most years, but this year the price of ferric sulfate increased 148%, fluoride 72% and chlorine 5%. Other cities are seeing similar increases, he said.

Other chemicals Bay City uses in its water treatment process include lime, polymers and potassium permanganate.