Arkansas Project Could Make Tulsa Water Safer

Oct 8, 2013

The sign at the Mohawk Plant
Credit KWGS News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Scientists at the University of Arkansas say they are developing an activated carbon that could lead to cleaner, safer drinking water in Tulsa.

The school's Water Research Laboratory will spend the next two years working on the fix.

Scientists say the goal of the project is to improve Tulsa's drinking water by decreasing the formation of regulated disinfectant byproducts. Those chemicals are formed as an unintended consequence when drinking water is disinfected.

For example, organic matter present in source waters reacts with disinfectants such as free chlorine or chloramine to form the disinfectant byproducts.

Since the 1970s, scientists have identified more than 600 of these byproducts, many of them suspected carcinogens.