Celina water plant expansion OK’d

Project designed for future mandates CELINA – City officials are planning a half-million-dollar expansion of the water treatment plant to improve quality and to prepare for any future treatment standards.
Plant superintendent Mike Sudman said the new process would treat for "remaining disinfection byproducts prior to the chlorine being added, any kind of minute pharmaceuticals that could be remaining, algal toxins that could get through the carbon."
The additional process should be operational by September, when lake algae begins to die, releasing toxins into the water.
Officials see the additional treatment process "as one more step" to improving the city’s drinking water, as well as getting "ahead of the curve," mayor Jeff Hazel said.
"Pharmaceuticals are not tested for in water and unfortunately we think that ‘well, yeah, there’s safety drop-off sites where people can take down used medicines,’ but there’s also the toilet bowl and so there’s a lot of things that go down for wastewater-wise and that gets into all bodies of water," Hazel continued.
Councilman Mike Sovinski asked how the process will impact operational costs.
Disinfection byproducts will continue to drop due to this, but no, operationally, you’re going to see an increase in electric use because that’s what it runs off, as well as maintenance (costs)," Sudman replied.
Sovinski asked if the plant had any problems last year.
Sudman replied that city officials had included the process in the design for the nearly $7 million granular activated carbon filtration system added in 2008 to eliminate trihalomethanes produced when organic material in the lake water is treated with chlorine.
An OEPA officials has informed city officials that adding advanced oxidation falls under the allowable uses of the grant dollars, Sudman said.

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