Craig Water Plant waiting on state’s blessing for new system | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Water Plant waiting on state’s blessing for new system

Janelle O'Dea

The Craig Water Plant, located at 111 S. Ranney St., produces drinking water for the city of Craig. Following a rate study, the city is considering increasing rates for water and wastewater services.

At the Craig Water Plant, ultraviolet radiation gets the chance to be a life-saving mechanism instead of one that causes skin cancer.

The plant has a new type of water disinfection process that uses UV radiation to sanitize water.

Director of the plant Mark Sollenberger said they're hoping to lower the amount of chlorine they have to use to maintain clean water levels.

In order to lower the amount of chlorine used, however, the plant must receive an accreditation from the state. They applied for the state's blessing on the new UV system in 2010, but personnel changes and other issues have caused a delay.

Mayor Terry Carwile said the Craig Water Plant paired up with the engineering firm used for the Shadow Mountain project to write another proposal for accreditation to the state health department.

As soon as they get the state's blessing, the plant may be able to lower the amount of chlorine it uses. Sollenberger said Craig Water Plant makes its own liquid bleach to use as a disinfectant and lowering the amount of chlorine used to disinfect could also lower production costs.

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The plant may be able to lower the amount of chlorine used by "1/10 or 2/10," he said.

Sollenberger said they will still have to use some amount of chlorine as a disinfectant even with the state's blessing, but the UV radiation system adds an extra layer of protection.

Different amounts of chlorine are used during different times of the year based on several factors, Sollenberger said. Temperature changes are one factor that could change the amount of chlorine used.

For example, chlorine must be in contact with harmful organisms for a longer period of time to kill them in colder temperatures.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @jayohday