Construction continues at the City of Delaware’s Water Treatment Facility, in the midst of its first major improvement in nearly 40 years.
The site, located just above the city next to Riverview Park at 3080 U.S. Rt. 23 North, is a beehive of activity, with workers from Dayton-based Shook Construction working on two large structures. All the while, water is still being treated at the current facility.
According to the city, the $31.5 million project features a new 21,000 square-foot process building to house ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes; as well as a new million-gallon concrete clearwell with high service pump station and degasifiers. Officials said work on the new water plant is expected to be completed this October.
Brad Stanton, Delaware’s Director of Public Utilities, said construction began in October 2012, five years after an initial water plant study, design and bid process.
Last June, City Water Manager Tom Hinson said the system improvements are being made so the city’s water quality continues to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.
“It gives you more of a barrier for protection than our conventional treatment,” Hinson said of the membrane filtration process. “We’re going to be using the nanofiltration membranes for softening of our groundwater and of the surface water. The ultrafiltration will be for the surface water only, and that will remove the cryptosporidium bacteria and the atrazine (herbicide runoff) that are in the Olentangy River right now.”
“Once the water goes through the membrane process, it will be stored in our clearwell, and from the clearwell it goes out to the distribution system,” Stanton said. “On top of the clearwell will have the high service pumps that pump the water out to the distribution system.”
The clearwell will allow the city to increase the amount of water it can pump a day from a current maximum of 6 million gallons to 7.2 million gallons, Hinson said. He said the average use was 3.7 million gallons per day, with a peak of 5.5 million gallons during the summer.
“If it’s approaching 6 million, that’s when you have to start issuing the watering restrictions – no watering yards or washing cars,” Hinson said. “The city’s never had to, and we want to provide a larger buffer so that we can continue to avoid having to issue any kind of watering restrictions.”
Hinson said the new plant will also provide city residents with softer, less alkaline water.
“Upper Sandusky, Tipp City and Lancaster have this type of technology,” Stanton said. “More and more communities are looking at this because of the new U.S. EPA requirements. We weren’t the first, but we’re on the cutting edge of this technology.”