OTTAWA — On a snowy holiday Monday, the Ottawa Water Treatment Plant received the first new major piece of equipment in over 30 years.
Since the plant’s completion in 1972, operators have been using most of the same equipment, extending the functional expectations of that equipment past the estimated 25-30 year mark, according to Plant Director Doug Schroeder. In the 1980s the original lime slakers were replaced by two used slakers from another water treatment plant but they were in no way new equipment, said Ottawa Municipal Director Jack Williams.
The two new lime slakers delivered Monday, each costing approximately $170,000, were approved by Ottawa Village Council as part of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements.
Schroeder and Jeff Heringhaus, second shift class 3 operator, where like excited kids at Christmas while waiting for Kenny Siefker, maintenance at the plant, to unload the lime slaker from the truck.
“Look,” Schroeder said, smiling. “It’s so close. It’s like what, 70 feet from the building.”
Lime slakers are part of the water purification process. Above each slaker is a funnel shaped trough where lime is dumped in. The lime flows from the trough into the machine where it is mixed with water creating a paste and generating heat. The paste flows from the slaker, is mixed with ferric sulfate and dumped into a pool of water in the massive water clarification room, Schroeder said, in which the lime and ferric sulfate create a molecular filter which removed contaminates from water molecules.
Tom Rosinski of Chemco Systems, Inc. and the four other members of the instillation team arrived at the Ottawa Water Treatment Plant about half an hour before the semi hauling the slakers did. They examined the location for the new slaker, planning how best to approach the instillation.
Rosinski said the instillation will most likely take the entire week. The team will need to cut the bottom of the lime trough off and install the oscillation unit, which will slightly shake the device to prevent clogging, a common problem with the old slaker. They will also need to add some new piping, he said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.