ZEPHYRHILLS — Employees at the city's wastewater treatment plant may soon breathe easier.
In a few months, the city will treat water at the plant with liquid sodium hypochlorite (bleach, in layman's terms) instead of chlorine gas.
The City Council on Monday evening approved Odyssey Manufacturing Co.'s $81,975 bid to provide liquid sodium hypochlorite to the plant.
Money for the item was already included in the city's budget. The contract is annual and can be renewed each year for four years.
Liquid sodium hypochlorite is currently used in the city's wells.
At the plant, it will be safer than the chlorine gas.
There is less risk of a leak and fewer fumes for the employees to breathe in, said Louie Sellars, superintendent at the city's utility department.
"Price-wise, they're pretty similar, but the safety factor is the biggest thing," Sellars said.
In other news:
• City utility customers will no longer get an early return of their deposit. The council repealed a 1984 ordinance that returned deposits to customers after two years.
New software in the utility department cannot process the early refunds, the city said. Upgrading the software would cost $600, plus at least $150 annually.
Deposits will be refunded with customers' final bills.
• Also, council member Jodi Wilkeson was recognized for her participation in the Florida League of Cities' institute for elected officials.
Wilkeson attended the three-day course in Sarasota in June.
Helen Anne Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 521-6518.