I am very much opposed to the proposed Ion Exchange Water treatment Facility for the following reasons:
1. The lime-soda system that we are using is still considered the “Best Available Technology” for the softening of water by the EPA.
2. Therefore the use of Ion Exchange is an inferior technology to what is currently being used.
3. The use of Ion Exchange may require a substantial percentage of residents to use bottled water for drinking because of the added sodium content. This includes the residents of Green Hills, a good many of whom are included in that group.
4. When properly done, the lime-soda process provides the proper corrosion controls to the finished water. This is an additional process when Ion Exchange is used as the finished water is often corrosive and must be “adjusted.”
5. On the subject of saving money:
a. The time spent by the department actually operating the current, however dated, water treatment plant is a small percentage of the time spent by the entire department. As a Class I facility, the operator requirements should be the same between the two schemes. The wastewater plant, maintenance and operation of the water distribution and wastewater collection networks require much more time. There are definitive records from the past years to document this. I would be happy to discuss this with any interested party.
b. Again, the time spent handling lime, soda etc. is so little compared to other duties that I feel that it is ludicrous to use this as a reason.
6. I am not opposed to upgrading and updating the current system, just as much labor could be saved there as by switching to Ion Exchange, I feel money could be saved by not switching from lime-soda.
7. I am very aware that the current plant was built in 1940 and no updates have been made to the plant itself since 1960. This can also speak for its reliability.
8. I am also aware that management of the residue from the lime-soda process as it is practiced here is a bit “clunky” and may be the single most labor intensive part of the process now. This is also an argument for streamlining that process. At least the residue is useful as a soil conditioner. Whereas the residue from Ion Exchange treatment cannot be land applied and is commonly sent to the sanitary sewer system where, if it does not cause a problem, just passes through and becomes the problem of the next water treatment plant downstream.
9. I wonder how long the EPA will allow the discharge of brine into the waters of the state and country before considering it harmful.
10. I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I would be more than happy to discuss this with any council member, Board of Public affairs member or any resident or other interested party at any reasonable time.
Former WL water department employee