Electricity and Water Do Mix

During the District’s November Board of Directors meeting, Damon Hoops and Josh Martin reported on a number of in-house upgrades accomplished over the last several months. “Electricity and water usually don’t mix, but they do here!” said Damon Hoops. After evaluating the situations and determining that the District staff was the best choice to do the upgrades, the projects got jump-started. New interface controls for filter backwash are now easier to operate and less expensive because of just one upgrade.

Other upgrades included user friendly instrument panels for chlorine and fluoride analysis and streaming current detectors, which sense chemical changes in the water. A highlight was the turbidity meters. Turbidity meters measure the cloudiness of the water during separate phases of the water treatment process. “Forty units were replaced by our staff,” said Josh Martin, “and these units use a lot less water.” Josh went on to explain that the new meters are saving 60,000 gallons of water a year for their testing processes per unit. Across the forty units, the new meters are preventing 2.4 million gallons of water from going down the drain. This increased efficiency allows 2.4 million gallons to remain in the treatment process for sale to our customer cities each year. With much of the equipment being in place since the treatment plants opened, preventing potential equipment failures was also addressed by upgrades. One of the projects now uses infrared equipment for digital heat imaging to help avoid a breakdown and thus a facility shut down from happening.

On-going equipment monitoring will help ensure a continuous, consistent supply of clean, safe drinking water from the District. Electrical equipment upgrades are more than just efficiency concerns; they are also about employee safety. Easier to use access panels, infrared windows, and better placed monitoring equipment help keep our employees out of harm’s way better. Taking care of the employees in a way that benefits and motivates them to establish longterm careers with the District is an achievement that cannot be expressed with a monetary value.

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