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Liquid Oxygen Shortage For COVID-19 Treatment Means Hillsborough Water Is Being Treated With Bleach

Hillsborough County officials announced on its website that Tampa Bay Water will temporarily change its water treatment process starting Thursday.

Due to a lack of liquid oxygen deliveries to the facility, Tampa Bay Water is changing the treatment at its Lithia Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility from liquid oxygen to sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach.

Liquid oxygen helps remove hydrogen sulfide from the water coming out of this facility, which serves the South Hillsborough County service area.

The county's statementissued Wednesday said:

Tampa Bay Water officials issued their own statement as well:

The change in water treatment, the county said, is due to the lack of deliveries of liquid oxygen because of a delivery driver shortage caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and the need for available supplies to be diverted to local hospitals.

Hillsborough County officials recommend that customers help preserve the region's drinking water by eliminating non-essential water uses, including watering lawns when it's raining, using pressure washers, and washing vehicles at home.

Hillsborough County Public Utilities customers with additional questions may contact Hillsborough County Water Quality at (813) 264-3835 or (813) 744-5544.

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