IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE SEHOA WATER TREATMENT PLANT
A couple of years ago when SEHOA constructed the “pumphouse”, we knew that on-site monitoring would be difficult to perform. So we utilized the services of High Tide Technologies (HTT) which afforded us the ability to monitor the water level in our storage tanks (two 23,000 gallon underground tanks with a total 46,000 gallon capacity), and the ability to control the system via the internet. Using a smartphone or computer we can open/close the main distribution valve as well as start/stop the pump(s) that fill the storage tanks with treated water. The HTT system lets us set thresholds to automatically trigger the actions such as sending an alert to the operator if water flow indicates a breech in the distribution system, a low water level in the storage tanks to trigger the system to begin treatment and filling the tanks, and a high water level to stop the treatment and filling when the tanks are at full capacity. With this last component we can monitor turbidity and chlorine residual levels online and log the data that is required for monthly operational reports. And we also have a temperature sensor that will alert the operator if the temperature in the Water Treatment Plant (WTP), officially renamed because it’s more than a pumphouse, falls below an acceptable level.
The last component of the filtration project involved the installation of instrumentation to measure turbidity and chlorine residual levels via an online monitoring system. This component was not mandatory but had to be documented in the design. Installation occurred during November, after the CDPHE approval. After operating the system over several weeks, working out a glitch or two, the instrumentation piece appears to be working very well.
The operation of the WTP going forward should be a matter of establishing routines for treatment and maintaining equipment. The chlorine solution tank requires on-site attention to be sure an adequate amount of solution is available for the amount of water needed to fill the storage tanks, and the solution concentration is adequate to maintain a minimum .80 mg/L which must be tested each day the submersible pump runs. The filtration components must also be monitored to be sure pressure levels in the canisters, and indicator of particulate buildup in the filters, are acceptable and that filters a not in need of replacement. The filtration system is designed to capture any particulate larger than 1.0 microns in size. SEHOA essentially has this responsibility: if the WTP monitoring identifies treated water with a chlorine residual less than .80 mg/L and a turbidity level greater than 1.0 microns, we have to close the distribution system until such time we can bring both these levels back to compliance.
The chlorine residual and turbidity measuring instruments require monitoring as well to ensure they’re operating properly. Chlorine residual testing requires chemical solutions needed by the instrument be monitored and replenished periodically. And the turbidity measuring instruments require periodic maintenance as well.
Our water system is overseen by our ORC (Operator in Responsible Charge) who carries a Class B Water Treatment and Class 4 Distribution license as mandated by the state. He handles all correspondence with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE), ensures compliance with the Monitoring Schedule set by CDPHE, collects and reports all required sampling. He also files Monthly Operating Reports (MOR) required by CDPHE and ensures compliance with all State regulations.