September 25, 2008

Pilot study set for SWA Zap treatment plant

A pilot study for the Southwest Water Authority water treatment plant to be located north of Zap began Aug. 21 and is well underway.

The goal of the SWA board of directors is to bid construction of the water treatment plant by next summer, should adequate funding be obtained. The estimated timeframe from bid acceptance to completion is approximately 18-24 months.

The pilot study, which is being conducted at the water treatment plant in Dickinson, is scheduled to last six months. The analysis should provide valuable information on the treatment technologies needed to optimally treat water at the new plant.

In particular, engineers will be looking closely at the functioning of membrane units, which are responsible for water filtration. These membrane units will be subjected to several treatment scenarios to provide a variety of information such as the backwash parameters, how they respond to water temperature extremes, what treatment chemicals are most effective and the footprint needed for final design.

The location of the treatment plant, which will eventually provide Southwest Pipeline Project water to the Oliver and Mercer counties service area, was chosen for specific reasons.

According to Tim Freije, North Dakota State Water Commission engineer and SWPP Manager, the Dickinson Water Treatment Plant will not have the capacity to treat and pump water back to Oliver and Mercer counties. Therefore, the new plant will be constructed on the highest point in Mercer County, just north of Zap, where the raw water reservoirs are located.

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