PIQUA — The city of Piqua began using the newly built Water Treatment Plant on June 1 at midnight. The plant is more advanced with technology and is operated with computer assistance to help streamline the treatment process. The new plant utilizes the same basic treatment process of lime softening with gravity sand filtration.
Changes and additions that went into the new plant include eliminating chlorine gas usage for disinfection. This process has become much safer by using liquid sodium hypochlorite as a disinfectant instead. There is better settling through the treatment process by using larger settling basins, which allows for more detention time. The usage of larger clearwells provides more storage of treated water. Using new filter media and underdrains allows for a higher filter flow rate and longer filter runs.
“Our staff loves the new treatment facility and the ability to produce quality water for the city of Piqua. They have adapted very well coming from the 1925 facility with almost zero technology to the new plant and all of its modern features,” stated Assistant Water Superintendent, Bob Jennings. “We are grateful to have a professional and knowledgeable staff that have taken the new plant by the wheel. This has made the transition fluent and efficient.”
The leading improvement in this project is the addition of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters. These filters are used at the end of the treatment process to ‘polish’ the water. They remove organic matter in the water that the other processes cannot. GAC filters also remove Atrazine (herbicide used by farmers) and protect the drinking water from any potential toxic algae blooms. GAC filters are very beneficial in helping to eliminate the problems of trihalomethanes (THM). Trihalomethanes are formed as a byproduct when chlorine reacts with organic matter in water. By using the GAC filters to remove a lot of this organic matter, the risk of reaction significantly drops.
In 2016, the city of Piqua Municipal Water System received no violations, per EPA guidelines, using the old water treatment plant. This data can be found in the 2016 Water Quality Report at piquaoh.org. Water quality is the number one priority of the Piqua Water Treatment Plant. Constant testing, of more than 300 analysis daily, by the dedicated staff of certified operators and laboratory personnel ensure the highest standards for drinking water quality are being met at all times.
Don Freisthler, water system superintendent, said, “The new water treatment plant gives the plant staff more options for producing the best quality water possible for the residents of Piqua. We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the City Commission and all of the citizens of Piqua for their continued support of the Water Treatment Plant and the Utility Division.”
An open house will be held on September 28 at the new Water Treatment Plant. More details to come.