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Treatment plant starts lowering arsenic in water


Electric City’s Public Works Director Ken Dexter, left, and Gray & Osborne Civil Engineer Robert Scott discuss some of the adjustments to water flow at the new arsenic treatment plant Tuesday. The plant went into operation this week and will bring the city’s water into conformance with federal drinking water standards. — Roger S. Lucas photo

Electric City’s new arsenic treatment plant goes into operation this week.

The $1.3 million project received final adjustments by Gray & Osborne, the city’s engineering firm, and Clearwater Construction, the firm that did the construction.

Tuesday, officials were making final computer program adjustments to the automated system.

The project has been under construction for several months and was delayed when additional parts had to be manufactured.

The plant was due for operation in December.

The new plant will enable the city to meet federal drinking water standards and reduce arsenic in the water system to below 10 parts per billion. The city’s water has been testing from 13 to 17 parts arsenic per billion.

The new treatment plant will treat just enough water to lower its arsenic content below the 10 parts per billion required. The rest of the city’s water supply will bypass the treatment filtration system.

Functioning of the plant requires a slight treatment with chlorine, Public Works Director Ken Dexter said. A test of the water Tuesday didn’t note any taste of chlorine. The slight addition of chlorine is required to activate the arsenic collection treatment.

“Our goal is to bring the arsenic content down to maybe seven parts per billion,” Dexter said.

Tuesday, the plant was treating water from only two of the city’s three wells.

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