Arlington Water Treatment Plants Undergoing $14 Million Upgrade

Ozone Generator at an Arlington water treatment plant

Ozone Generator at an Arlington water treatment plant

The City of Arlington is in the midst of a $14 million, multi-phase project as part of its commitment to provide customers with high-quality, great-tasting drinking water.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, the Arlington City Council approved a $7.3 million contract with Archer Western Construction to install new water purifying equipment at the John F. Kubala and Pierce-Burch Water Treatment Plants.

The Irving-based contractor will replace equipment, known as ozone generators, that disinfects water as part of the treatment process. Ozone helps break down and remove substances and natural, organic materials, such as algae, that can affect the water’s quality, taste and smell, said Mohammad Bayan, a Water Utilities Senior Engineer.

“Safe water is our first, highest priority along with making it the best tasting,” said Bayan, pointing to the city’s recent recognition by the Texas Water Utilities Association. “The reason why we have a reputation of very good-tasting water is attributed to the ozone.”

The ozone equipment has a lifespan between 10 and 15 years, Bayan said. As part of the water treatment plant upgrades, the city replaced two of the four generators at Pierce-Burch last year that were originally installed in 1999. This year, the contractor will replace a third generator at Pierce-Burch and replace the oldest of three generators at John F. Kubala with a new, larger unit that will help expand the plant’s treatment capacity to meet extreme demand conditions, Bayan said.

In 2012 and 2015, Arlington’s water was recognized in the “best tasting surface water in Texas” category at the Texas Water Utilities Association’s Annual School Best Tasting Water Contest. This was following the city’s 2014 recognized by the North Center Texas Regional Best Tasting Water Contest.

“Ozone is a key part of our treatment process but not the only factor in our water quality excellence. Biofiltration, attention to detail by our highly skilled operators, along with the exceptional quality of our source of supply factor into our history of success and best taste awards,” said Buzz Pishkur, Arlington Water Utilities Director.

Additionally, Water Utilities will embark on a 5-year pilot project at the Pierce-Burch plant to test whether the use of peroxide in addition to ozone significantly improves quality, taste and odor. The mixture of peroxide and ozone creates a stronger oxidizer, Bayan said, which could be beneficial to the city when issues, such as algal blooms at Lake Arlington, create taste and odor issues with the drinking water.

Last year, the City Council approved $3.2 million to purchase the ozone generators along with a $1 million contract for an outside engineering firm to oversee the upgrades. In addition, the council approved two separate contracts worth $1.1 million to replace and upgrade the master control system for the ozone equipment at both plants.

The treatment plant upgrades, which are expected to be complete next winter without disruption to customers, are being paid for by water bond funds.

Articles Ozone Generators Graphic 02-09-16

Water Treatment Process

Click here to learn more about the Arlington Water Utilities Department and the work that the department does.

 

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Kim Feil
Guest
Great news about the upgrade because since 2007 (which correlates with when we started Urban Drilling), our TTHM Total Trihalomethanes (the unwanted carcinogenic, byproduct of disinfecting polluted water) has almost TRIPLED. TTHM has no federal guideline for a margin of safety in a MCLG. Maximum Contaminant Level Goal assures us that below a certain level there is no known or expected risk to health. In 2009 Arlington TX had a spike where TTHM’s went as high as 26 ppb. While still under the 80 ppb MCL (maximum containment level), this was a dramatic departure from the second highest max of… Read more »
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