Dagsboro seeking answers to fluctuating chlorine levels

DAGSBORO — Fluctuating chlorine levels in the town of Dagsboro water that on occasion have hit rock bottom have town leaders searching for the source and the solution.

Dagsboro receives its water through a December 2002 agreement with the town of Millsboro. Water is pumped throughout both systems and when demand is met it fills storage tanks, according to Millsboro town staff.

Dagsboro officials reported abnormally low chlorine readings, notably back in early June. It was a hot topic at the July 17 town council meeting.

“We are still trying to figure out why there are different levels,” said Dagsboro Town Administrator Cindi Brought.

She said at the July meeting that problems arose June 9 and chlorine level comparison to last year shows that “every month they were average (in 2016).”

“There was nothing low, like this,” she said.

According to Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson, the problem is not on Millsboro’s side of the fence – or valve.

“The challenge of course is when you add chlorine the further you get from where the chlorine is added to the water the more the residual decrease is,” he said. “In Dagsboro, obviously you are going to have a lower level than you would have in Millsboro. The bottom line is everything within Millsboro’s system continues to test fine.”

In a July 28 update, Ms. Brought said the chlorine level did improve since the meeting. “But it’s fluctuating a lot. It will go down to the .0-whatever and then when they checked the interconnect meter this week it was up to .61, which is way good.”

Kyle Gulbronson of AECOM, Dagsboro’s consultant firm, said he consulted with water engineers and learned that chlorine dissipates when the water temperature increases.

Before the town invests in a chlorine injector pump at its water storage tower located near the former Dagsboro fire station on Waples Street, Mr. Gulbronson recommended leaders analyze the situation.

A chlorine injector pump would boost the chlorine level in Dagsboro’s system, according to Millsboro town staff. But Ms. Brought said she an injection system could cost an estimated $15,000 and $20,000.

Mr. Gulbronson said other solutions might be to drain the tower periodically or reduce the water level in the tower so there isn’t so much water sitting there for an extended period of time. “That’s cheaper,” he said.

Under the water agreement, Dagsboro pays the town of Millsboro monthly based on usage, Ms. Brought said.

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