Over the weeks of April 3rd and April 10th, the Osceola Water Works team, with the help of Carbon Central, LLC. of Excelsior Springs, MO, started the updating of the filtering materials at the Osceola water plant. This update is included in a two-part strategy intended to reduce costs associated with maintaining Osceola’s water quality and safety, which have almost doubled over the past few years.
When asked about the filtering process, Brandon Patterson, Osceola Water Works Superintendent explained that due to sharp increases in pricing as well as regional water shortages, finding strategies to maintain Osceola’s water quality and safety while saving costs were necessary.
The Osceola Water Works plant’s eight filters filter raw water taken from West Lake. Each is filled with 3-feet of filtration material – 1-foot of refined sand topped with 2-feet of granular activated carbon (GAC). Over time, the GAC becomes saturated with organic pollutants which requires changing the carbon on a regular basis.
“With cleaner source water and fresh GAC, we can filter more efficiently,” said Osceola Water Works Plant Foreman, Cory Gallup.
In 2016, Osceola Water Works increased the filter replacement schedule from changing four filters every other year to changing all eight filters annually. With the implementation of other strategies, the Water Works team plans to bring the filter replacement schedule back to pre-2016 timing to reduce costs and the need for increased chemical intervention.
“It’s a constant challenge to address the intake quality with the filtration and treatment efforts,” said Patterson. “While raw water treatment is necessary, we want to make sure chemical treatment is reduced as much as possible, which in return will extend the life expectancy of the GAC in the filters.”
As an additional strategy to the changes in the filtration schedules, divers from Liquid Engineering Corporation, Billings, MT, are scheduled to be in West Lake at the end of the month to work with the Water Works team to move West Lake’s lower water intake to a higher position. This will help decrease the number of contaminants like manganese and other organic materials entering the treatment plant. This will also reduce the need for adding chemicals within the system’s filtering protocol, helping to maintain Osceola’s water quality and safety while extending the life expectancy of the GAC.
“The schedule change is necessary to keep costs down,” said Patterson. “With updates to raw water intake we’ll also be able to maintain overall quality and safety.”