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Press Release

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

City of Turlock Adding Chlorine to Water System, Improving Safety and Quality

The City of Turlock is adding chlorination to the water system beginning May 17, 2023.

According to City staff, the City-Wide Chlorination Project will improve drinking water quality throughout Turlock’s municipal water system. Initially, the city will begin adding small amounts of chlorine over time, until the system reaches the desired levels for safety – consistent with State of California mandates for clean water. There will be safeguards in place to ensure that the levels of chlorine in the water remain within acceptable limits. Chlorination prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and eliminates viruses and microorganisms that can cause serious illness if consumed.

Dialysis patients need to check with their healthcare providers, as chlorinated water may not be used with dialysis machines, but the water is safe to drink.

Aquatic animals including fish, shellfish, amphibians and some reptiles may be impacted, and the city encourages people to check with local pet stores about water conditioners/filters for these pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is chlorination necessary? – Chlorination prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and eliminates viruses and microorganisms that can cause serious illness if consumed.

  • Why wasn’t the water chlorinated previously? – Previously the City water system relied entirely on untreated groundwater which did not require chlorination. However, additional treatment, specifically activated carbon filtration, is being added to the system and when activated carbon filtration is used, disinfection is required by the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) to kill any microorganisms that may be introduced during the filtration process. Additionally, the city will begin utilizing treated surface water as part of the water supply in the upcoming years. Disinfection is imperative and mandated when surface water is used for drinking water purposes due to the presence of microorganisms in surface water bodies (lakes, rivers, etc.).

  • What is involved in the chlorination process? – The city will be adding sodium hypochlorite to the water in liquid form at each of the city’s well and storage tank sites. There is a chlorine analyzer downstream of these sites, which ensures that the levels remain within acceptable limits.

  • What safeguards are in place to ensure the levels of sodium hypochlorite are not exceeded? – Every location at which sodium hypochlorite is added, there will be a chlorine residual analyzer installed. The chlorine residual analyzer is equipped with an alarm that will alert operators if the chlorine level falls below the lower limit or exceeds the upper limit. Operators will also visit the chlorination sites daily to check on the equipment.

  • Are there any health risks associated with chlorinated water? – No, there are no health risks associated with drinking chlorinated water.

  • Can chlorinated water be used for dialysis? – Chlorine must be removed from the water used for dialysis machines. Dialysis patients should consult with their physician if they have concerns about using water treated with chlorine. However, dialysis patients can safely drink chlorinated water.

  • Will chlorine affect aquatic animals? – Yes, chlorine can affect fish, shellfish, amphibians, and some reptiles and pet owners should check with their local pet stores to discuss the addition of water conditioners or filters to keep the water safe.
For more information contact the Municipal Services Department at or telephone number (209) 668-5590.

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