water treatment facilities
The Troutman Water Treatment Facility (TWTF) that serves the water system is a 10.0 million gallon per day lime softening treatment facility constructed in phases over a period of 35 years. The original improvements on the TWTF site were constructed in 1962 and consisted solely of storage and high service pumping. The original lime softening treatment plant, with the capacity of 3.0 million gallons per day, was constructed in 1975. Subsequently, in 1985 the plant was expanded to 6.0 million gallons per day and all of the original softening equipment was refurbished or replaced. Another expansion in 1990 increased the capacity of the lime softening plant to 10 million gallons per day. The lime softening process involves coagulation, which causes smaller particles to form larger ones, sedimentation, the settling of these particles, and filtration, the filtering of tinier particles. These processes cause a reduction in hardness, iron and color in the finished water product.
In 2001, a Reverse Osmosis (RO) treatment system was added that blends 1.5 million gallons per day of product water with the water from the existing lime softening plant. The RO process involves passing water under high pressure through a semi-permeable membrane that removes up to 98% of all unwanted salts and other constituents in the water. The combined water from both of the above treatment systems is treated with chlorine for disinfecting. Starting in September 2003, fluoride was added for the improvement of dental health.
In November 2006, the South Regional Water Treatment Facility (SRWTF) went into service providing up to 4.0 million gallons of water per day through Reverse Osmosis. This facility has improved water supply pressures throughout the service area and has reduced the demand on the Troutman Water Treatment Facility. The SRWTF is designed to be easily expanded to 10 million gallons per day by the addition of more RO membranes and additional pumps. This facility was also designed to duplicate the entire treatment train so that it can reach a 20 million gallons per day capacity. This facility receives raw water from the Floridian aquifer from three wells located around the 108 acre site. The waste or brine from this facility is pumped down a deep well 2,500 to 3,000 feet below the surface in a zone with a total dissolved solids higher that 10,000 mg/l.
These water treatment facilities are staffed and operated 24 hours per day, seven days per week. These combined facilities can produce 14 million gallons per day of highly treated potable water.