As many people are aware, the city’s new water treatment plant and distribution system is nearing completion.
The new water treatment plant is highly sophisticated and includes a number of additional steps in water treatment that goes way beyond the basic water disinfection system that we have been used to for years.
Many people will recall the infamous “Beaver Fever” or Giardia outbreak in the city back in 1992 that led to demands for something better than simply screening and chlorinating water for residents of Corner Brook, Massey Drive and Mount Moriah.
Over the past 20 years, several studies have been done on the distribution system and treatment requirements and a number of proposals were put forward.
The original project cost of $ 36 million soon ballooned to over $50 million, with the federal and provincial governments picking up $24 million and the city taking on almost $ 27 million to see the project through to completion.
The project also included a complete redesign of the water distribution system, which included moving from two water supplies to one, the installation of new water reservoir tanks, a new high pressure main water line along West Valley Road and O’Connell Drive to Curling, new pressure reducing valves and a new $26 Million water treatment plant.
The new treatment system was specifically designed to treat the city’s water and a pilot evaluation was carried out to ensure that the proposed design for treating the raw water was effective and that the chemicals selected will produce the desired results while minimizing overall costs.
The Primary process uses a Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) system with 3 DAF trains.
Water flows through the plant by gravity feed and there are several fail-safes to prevent flooding of the plant. Once the water has been treated, it is pumped to 2 large tanks that are located at the plant and from there to the distribution system.
As the design below shows, the new system will use a number of chemicals that are added and then removed through the flocculation and clarification processes. Next, the water is filtered and treated with UV light to remove any remaining parasites, chlorine is added and then the water is sent to the distribution system.
The plant is designed to produce up to 30 million litres of clean, safe water per day and each and every litre of water that goes through this plant will cost significantly more to treat than the current system – in fact we are estimating it will cost approximately $1.2 to $1.5 million more per year for water treatment.
The more water we use, the more it costs. There is however, one sure way to reduce that cost, and that is to reduce how much water we use, and in particular, how much water we waste – and if we all do our part, it can add up to big savings for everyone over time. In fact, the chemicals used in the process account for approximately 50% of the total cost. Therefore every litre saved will reduce the operating cost of the plant!