Chlorine in Reclaimed Water Killed Fish at Botanical Gardens

Posted at 9:24 AM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 09:24:00-05

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Officials say treated wastewater killed two grass carp, four koi and a bucketful of bluegill fish in two ponds at Gainesville's Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

The Gainesville Sun ( ) reports Gainesville Regional Utilities has provided reclaimed water to the gardens for years. But on Thursday evening, an alarm sounded at the plant alerting personnel that too much ammonia was in the water.

The utility's water reclamation director Brett Goodman says an electrical component of the treatment process had failed and there wasn't enough air being pumped into the water. They added extra chlorine to better disinfect the water.

Goodman says that while the water was safe for public use, the fish died when they came into contact with the chlorine. The utility worked with the gardens crew to remedy the situation.

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