Home / News / Chlorine boost to impact Melbourne tap water customers across South Brevard

Chlorine boost to impact Melbourne tap water customers across South Brevard

Jul 21, 2023Jul 21, 2023

For the first time since November 2020, Melbourne utility officials are rolling out a "free chlorine" boost to help disinfect the drinking water supply for nearly 60,000 households and businesses across South Brevard.

The chlorine boost started Friday and will last through June 23. This disinfecting method, which provides additional protection against microorganism contamination, could produce the odor or taste of chlorine in tap water.

"The water is safe to drink. And we continually monitor it," said Jennifer Spagnoli, acting public works and utilities director.

Melbourne supplies drinking water for about 170,000 people, including communities outside city limits. Measuring roughly 100 square miles, the water service area includes Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne Beach, Melbourne Village, Palm Shores, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne and unincorporated Brevard County south of the Pineda Causeway.

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The city normally treats drinking water with chloramine: a combination of chlorine and ammonia. During the disinfecting boost, free chlorine — without ammonia — is being used.

The switch to free chlorination, which includes increased hydrant flushing, is a maintenance activity routinely performed across Florida, said David Phares, water production superintendent.

"You increase your flushing activities, which we have done. We've got hydrants open across the city to flush it over. We had a lot of residents here during the wintertime, and now we're seeing a lot less residents. So the water becomes stagnant. We're trying to move the water over and get rid of these pockets of stagnation," Phares said.

"So it's a little bit of a preemptive strike," he said.

Melbourne officials are distributing tips for residents:

For more information, call the Melbourne Water Production Division at 321-608-5700 or visit the frequently asked questions page on the city website.

Melbourne produces drinking water from Lake Washington via the John A. Buckley Surface Water Treatment Plant and four Floridan Aquifer system wells at the Joe Mullins Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant. Treated groundwater is blended with treated surface water.

The city has a permitted water-production capacity of 25 million gallons per day. Typical demand is about 17½ million gallons per day.

Spagnoli said Melbourne officials may start scheduling free-chlorine boosts on an annual or biannual basis.

City spokesperson Cheryl Mall said all utility bills sent out during the next three months will include a link to the city's annual water quality report, which covers the results of water testing during 2022. To view the report, visit

Paper copies of the report are available at Melbourne City Hall, city halls within the water distribution area, civic centers and area libraries. To obtain a copy, call 321-608-5080 or email [email protected].

Rick Neale is the South Brevard Watchdog Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or [email protected]. Twitter: @RickNeale1

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