Milford, regional officials deem Jonathan Law High School's water safe after chlorine complaint

The headquarters of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority on Sargent Drive in New Haven.

The headquarters of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority on Sargent Drive in New Haven.

Luther Turmelle/ Hearst Connecti

MILFORD — Concerns about an odor of chlorine in the water supply at Jonathan Law High School proved unfounded, according to South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority and school district officials.

The water authority examined water from the school after receiving a complaint Jan. 18 about chlorine in the water.

"Our team visited the school and tested multiple locations within the school," said Kevin Watsey, the authority's director of communications. "All test results were in line with normal values."

According to Kathy Bonetti, Milford Public Schools' director of communications, staff at Jonathan Law High School reported what they thought was an odor of chlorine connected to a water source in their offices.

Bonetti stated tests were conducted by school district staff and the water authority representatives in various locations at the school, including the nurse's office, the general water system throughout the building and the external water source connected to the building.

"All test results reflected normal chlorine ranges from all water sources," she said. "Tests concluded that the water was safe, had never been undrinkable and that students/staff were not at risk at any time."

Residents on Facebook have also complained about the chlorine smell when they use water. However, Watsey said they had not received customer complaints about chlorine from Milford residents.

"The amount of chlorine we add is fairly constant, with little fluctuation," said Watsey. "Too much chlorine smell is subjective, but homeowners can fill a container with water and leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight to help the smell dissipate."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states chlorine and chloramine are disinfectants water companies add to kill diseases causing germs such as salmonella, campylobacter and norovirus.

The CDC states a safe level of chlorine in the water is up to four milligrams per liter or four parts per million.

"We are well below that," said Watsey. "The average chlorine residual in our treatment facilities is 1.6 ppm. The residual will slightly decrease as the water leaves the plants and travels through the pipes to customer taps."

Sometimes what can bring out the chlorine smell in water is when people use hot water, noted Watsey.

"One other area where chlorine can increase is in situations where internal plumbing modifications include a disinfection step prior to use — this is an arrangement we've seen that can exist between a property owner and their contractor," he stated. "It has nothing to do with RWA, and we aren't made aware of this situation."