Iron problems are now a thing of the past, as the Sophia water treatment plant (WTP) for the first time in years is now surpassing World Health Organisation drinking water guidelines.
This project was spearheaded by two of GWI’s senior engineers- Deon Anderson, Head of Water Quality; and Curtis Niles, Regional Manager; Region Four – Georgetown.
The two have recently completed studies in the Netherlands at the UNESCO Institute for Water Education in the area of Water Treatment and Plant Design.
According to GWI, the move to study in the Netherlands was encouraged and supported by its Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West Charles.
As a result, the training has come in handy. Residents along Sheriff Street and Section K Campbellville, Lamaha Gardens, Bel Air, Eastern Highway, all the way up to the Atlantic Ocean, Farmers Field and Plum Park and 50% of Central Georgetown along Hadfield Street and surrounding areas) are now benefitting from cleaner water.
“The iron removal efficiency is now in excess of 90% removal, while the turbidity and colour have reduced significantly, resulting in a more sparkling product. In years past, the treatment plant saw a mere less than 40% iron removal resulting in an objectionable water quality.
This poor plant performance was due to factors such as break down of pH correction system, poor design of aerators, and deterioration of filters, inappropriate filter media and filter depth. However, the respective treatment processes (aeration, oxidation, pH correction, filtration) have been optimized and the plant is now performing beyond expectations. The pH, turbidity, iron etc. have now surpassed the WHO recommended drinking water guidelines,” GWI disclosed.
Garnering on experiences from his studies in Cuba, England and Holland, the Head of Water Quality, Anderson was able to monitor the plant for key performance indicators over several years and determine the respective interventions to be implemented to improve the plant’s performance.
“Together with the Regional Manager of Georgetown, Mr. Curtis Niles, they were able to determine adequate dosages of calcium hydroxide for optimum pH correction, appropriate amounts of random packing media in the aerators for optimization of dissolved oxygen and correct filter-media depth for effective filtration.”
These interventions have directly resulted in improved performance where the plant is now consistently meeting and surpassing the WHO standards with respect to pH, turbidity, and especially iron, GWI explained.
“In order to maintain this improved water quality, other interventions were also done with regards to the repair of the drainage and inlet valves, backwash troughs and unclogging of 12-inch and six-inch lines.
These works have been completed and efforts are now being focussed on the repair of the filter up-wash valves, so that continued water supply of the highest quality can be consistently maintained.”
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