Cedar Rapids is now adding ultraviolet light to its water treatment system. Officials say there’s nothing wrong with treating water using conventional chlorine, but ultraviolet light is a further safeguard.

City utilities director Pat Ball says Cedar Rapids is the only Iowa city using ultraviolet light for treating its water supply.

“Not only our citizens here and their expectation of always having safe drinking water, we have a number of food processing industries here in town who are absolutely reliant upon our safe water system,” Ball says. “It goes into their products, it goes into their processes. Therefore, one more layer of protection just provides that layer of insurance.”

Making the switch to using ultraviolet light is costing about 40-million dollars, with most of that borrowed from the state’s revolving loan fund.

It’ll cost an extra 115-thousand dollars to maintain the water treatment system, mostly for replacing bulbs.