FORT KNOX, Ky. – Officials have made an immense stride toward improving the water quality at Fort Knox while also making the entire system more secure.
Following the lead of neighboring water districts, Fort Knox has changed over to chloramine rather than chlorine. This type of disinfectant has already been in use in other countries like Canada and Great Britain for nearly a century.
“A major benefit is that [chloramine] reduces disinfection byproducts, which tend to be higher with chlorine,” said Hardin County Systems Manager Justin Metz, who is very familiar with the advantages of a switch like this since Hardin County made the change about five years ago.
Chloramines provide long-lasting protection because they don’t break down quickly in water pipes, according to information provided by engineers at the Fort Knox Directorate of Public Works. Once established, chloramines also improve both the taste and smell of the water delivered through a system.
Hardin County’s choice to change over to the new disinfectant came years after the nearby Louisville water district converted its systems.
“Global Water Company made the switch decades ago,” said Metz, who noted that decisions by neighboring counties to go with a chloramine system became the major factors in Fort Knox opting to also switch.
With Fort Knox getting on board with chloramines, Metz said all the various water districts of the area can now rely on one another in the event of an emergency.
The chloramine switch is part of an extensive update to the entire Fort Knox water utility system. Another aspect of this changeover is the full overhaul of the Muldraugh Water Treatment Plant. Once complete, Fort Knox’s system will be fully converted to chloramine use.
Metz warned that residents may notice harder water than usual With Muldraugh offline. That’s because the facility also serves as the area’s water softener.
Hard water can sometimes have more of a mineral taste and leave a white film on surfaces and dishes when used as a cleaner. While this can be a nuisance, Metz said hard water is not a health hazard.
Metz also emphasized that the hard water is not only temporary, but also that the switch to chloramine isn’t to blame. “The two are not related. They only happened to occur at the same time,” said Metz. Once water is no longer being supplied externally and the Muldraugh plant is operational again, the water softener will be back online.
The main portion of the Muldraugh Plant renovation is projected to be completed by August. Until then, water will continue to be supplied to the installation by Hardin County Water District No. 1 and the Louisville Water Company.