EC upgrades water plant
Upgrades to the water treatment plant were a main topic of discussion at the East Carbon City Council meeting on April 13 which are entering their final phases and should be completed in mid-May.
The first phase of work began last year but was accompanied with some failures with two of the filter needing to be replaced, according to Darrell Leamaster, with Johansen and Tuttle Engineering.
The second phase of the project is currently underway with two filters being rebuilt, changing the valve control system, which Leamaster believes is the cause for the failures last fall. They are also taking the chlorine gas system out of the plant and replacing it with a sodium hypochlorite generation system that produces bleach at the plant for use in treating the water, Leamaster said.
The sodium hypochlorite generation system works to create the bleach by having water run through a system that introduces salt to the water, which together, creates brine. It is then pumped into electrolytic cells, where electricity is introduced to the brine. This, in turn, breaks down the brine into sodium hypochlorite, or bleach. Hydrogen gas is released as a byproduct and is vented outside of the plant with a system of blowers.
The electrolytic cells, which cost about $3,000 per cell, would last between seven to 10 years before needing to be replaced, according to Leamaster.
Work is mainly focused on sandblasting and painting the tanks before putting the filter material back in the tanks, which should be completed within the next three weeks. The material needed for the work, including coal being shipped in from Pennsylvania, has not arrived.
"Our first emphasis is to get the filters back into operation before the city has a high need for water, which should happen around sometime in June," Leamaster said. "So we are looking at having these tanks be operational in mid-May."
Leamaster said the system is being put into place for two main reasons: safety and that chlorine created on site at the plant is much cheaper than having to purchase it elsewhere.
"Chlorine gas is a terribly hazardous material and is a real danger to the employees at the plant," Leamaster said.
"What we have right now out at the plant is a great concern," Mayor Orlando LaFontaine said.
The upgrades to the plant are being done with a Community Impact Board grant of $270,000.
Councilmember David Avery was concerned about the hydrogen being released from the plant with the system and questioned if any monitoring would be done.
"I really wish in the next few days that you would seriously think about monitoring that building more for hydrogen," Avery said in regards to a question from Leamaster.
Leamaster said that currently there are no plans to monitor the hydrogen, but it is a possibility in the future. Mayor LaFontaine suggested doing more research into the issue and see what can be done in monitoring the hydrogen.
The council discussed two different bids for the project, which included Seimen's Water Technology at $69,110 and Process Solutions at $62,900. Process Solutions was awarded the bid as the council unanimously approved a motion choosing them.
Another motion was passed to have TA Solutions out of Salt Lake City put the system into place at the plant for $9,400.