Prop 1 passes, banning ammonia in Hannibal drinking water - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Prop 1 passes, banning ammonia in Hannibal drinking water

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Voters approved Proposition 1 in Tuesday's election, which would ban using ammonia to treat Hannibal's drinking water.

A group of citizens, who opposed the Hannibal Board of Public Works use of chloramine to treat the city's drinking water, acquired enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Residents claimed chloramine use was a health hazard.

Chlorine and ammonia are mixed to create chloramine.

HBPW has insisted the water is safe to drink and meets EPA regulations. BPW officials said using chloramine is a cheaper, more efficient option.

Now that the issue has passed, HBPW officials have 90 days to stop using ammonia to treat the city's drinking water, forcing BPW to revert back to using chlorine as a treatment. 

Hannibal Board of Public Works General Manager Bob Stevenson said they are not sure if they will be able to do that in 90 days. 

"We are going to have some challenges with that," Stevenson said. "We are going to do our best to do that, but we are going to need some help from other people."

Stevenson said he is not sure what is going to happen in the future, but he knows he needs to be prepared to make some changes.

"We are going to have to figure out how to resolve the two authorities that are governing," Stevenson said. "One is our public, and the other is our state and federal government. I don't have a solution to that right now."

Stevenson projects that implementing a new water treatment system could raise rates at least $8.

The group that put the issue on the ballot celebrated at Rustic Oak Restaurant Tuesday night. 

Leader Kellie Cookson said she was emotional after seeing the results because she wants to see change with fresh water. 

"I just think there is so many better choices that can be provided to give us quality of water and not be at the bottom of the standard but be more at the top of the standard throughout the process," Cookson said. 

Cookson says she will work with the city leaders on addressing the water quality and hopes this issue can be resolved sooner rather than later. 

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