By Gary Budzak
Improvements to Delaware’s water treatment plant are nearing completion, the city’s Public Works/Public Utilities Committee has learned.
“We can actually see the finish line with the water treatment plant,” said Director of Public Utilities Brad Stanton at the committee’s July meeting.
The improvements, the first to the plant in 40 years, are being made to comply with new Environmental Protection Agency requirements. The improvements are said to improve the water quality, soften the water and increase the amount of water the city can pump.
Among the improvements are a new membrane treatment process building and a new one-million-gallon clearwell, high-service pump building.
The pump building will feature two degasifiers, used for removing any excess carbon dioxide remaining in the water from groundwater treatment, and aerating the water to adjust its pH levels. The degasifiers are 20 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter.
The process building will house new ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes. The groundwater nanofiltration skids will help soften the water; while the recently installed surface water ultrafiltration skids will be used to remove pollutants and organics from the Olentangy River water.
“Both the process building and the high-service pump building were built to expand in the future for additional treatment and pumping,” Stanton said.
The $31.5 million project began in October 2012 at the plant, located at 3080 U.S. Rt. 23 North. Next week, the ultrafiltration membranes will be installed; the pressure filter feed pumps (which remove iron and manganese) will be started the week of July 28; and the nanofiltration membranes will be installed the week of Aug. 18. The membrane treatment process building is expected to start up in mid-September. The old plant will be taken off line to do concrete work. Then, both plants should be up and running in October.
“It’s an exciting but nervous time,” Stanton said. “We have a lot of training to do. A lot of vendors will be on site to walk through the operation of the plant.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.