Clearwater’s water and sewer systems have seen significant improvements since incorporation and continue to see more, according to Jared Brounstein, the district’s public works superintendent.
Upgrades to provide ultraviolet treatment at the Russell Creek water intake are now complete, he reported recently.
About $650,000 is being spent on the UV system, of which $480,000 is a Towns for Tomorrow grant.
Water from the creek intake continues to be treated by chlorine.
Water from the municipality’s two wells are treated with chlorine only. Because they do not use surface water a higher level of protection is not needed.
Warm weather during the first two weeks of May resulted in water consumption exceeding production, which in turn resulted in the level in the town’s reservoir dropping below desirable levels.
Production was stepped up from Well #2 (across from Dutch Lake beach) to meet the demand. However, that could lead to turbidity concerns as the water from the well is high in manganese.
A SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system being installed will allow the entire water and sewer system to be remotely monitored and operated.
Cost is about $80,000 per year for five years, with the money coming from federal gas tax funding.
The SCADA system is already allowing the district to control better the chlorine levels in the water system, helping to avoid spikes.
Clearwater’s sewer lagoons were upgraded about three years ago with the construction of a new aeration pond that drains into two rapid infiltration ponds.
The new system has the capacity to treat sewage from all the existing users plus that from a proposed extension to Dutch Lake.
Any more would require building a second aeration pond, Brounstein said.
Bubbling air through the sewage in the pond results in enhanced biological breakdown.
Oxygen sensors control the blowers that create the bubbles.
“It’s a fairly sophisticated program,” he said.