SIERRA MADRE ( — The city of Sierra Madre is preparing to temporarily change its source of water supply, which could potentially pose a health risk to some residents.

Starting Sept. 16, the city will transition from local groundwater to imported water from the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (SGVMWD), which will in turn provide imported treated surface water produced by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).

Instead of chlorine, the water will be disinfected with chloramines, which officials warn can pose a “serious problem” to residents with kidney disease who may be undergoing dialysis treatment.

Any dialysis patients receiving in-home treatment were urged to contact their dialysis provider.

Local pet and fish shops were also warned that any fish placed into water obtained from the city’s chloraminated water supply should be properly protected, noting that chloramines may persist longer in the water than chlorine and could be toxic for fish.

City officials have pledged to work with state and county health officials to reduce the chloramines in the treatment water to “acceptable levels.”

The switch comes amid very dry weather and higher water consumption that has caused a two-foot drop in water levels within local wells.

The City Council passed a resolution on May 28 to enact conservation measures established for periods of “water-related emergencies.”

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