The Bristol County Water Authority has already started work toward reducing trihalomethane levels in local water through several initiatives spelled out in a recently adopted capital plan.
BCWA Executive Director Pamela Marchand said a number of the plan’s elements could be up and running by the end of next fiscal year provided a rate increase is approved for the coming budget cycle. Ms. Marchand said the plan is designed to optimize the distribution system, and these capital measures will also have an impact of THM levels.
One of these upgrades is the installation of a new instrumentation system – SCADA. The system allows for enhanced pacing and analysis of chlorine levels. THMs form based on interaction between chlorine and natural organics in water.
Additionally, the plan calls for the implementation of a new bacteria analysis system. It will help determine the exact levels of chlorine needed to keep water clean.
Ms. Marchand said the plan also includes a new mixing system for the water storage tank to fluctuate water in and out quickly and establishing unidirectional flushing which, while more labor intensive, will help move sediments out of water mains.
A long-term solution centers on a 20-year main cleaning and lining project. The BCWA recently wrapped up a pipe-lining project on Franklin Street, in Bristol, and is expected to perform similar work on 50 miles of pipe over the next two decades.
Ms. Marchand said the work is beneficial because it lines pipes with a layer of cement that prevents water from coming into direct contact with iron piping.