Richland Water Treatment Plant Receives Recognition
Washington State Department of Health officials from the Regional Office of Drinking Water presented an award to the City of Richland today, for its ongoing effort to optimize the performance of its Water Treatment Plant and produce water of far better quality than is required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Standards.
The Washington State Treatment Optimization Program or TOP recognizes surface water treatment facilities who go above and beyond federal requirements to remove pollutants from our drinking water supply. The primary measure of treated surface water quality is called turbidity. Turbidity is the clarity of water and is the measure of small particles present in water. Small particles can be carriers of disease-causing organisms, so the removal of particles is an important objective of water treatment. Turbidity (particle) removal is a key element in protecting consumers from microbial contaminants and maximizing public health. Turbidity is measured in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). Federal NTU requirements are 1.0 and Richland has exceeded that number by 95%, achieving less than 0.1 NTU continuously for the three years that the City has been enrolled in the treatment optimization program. This achievement earned the City a TOP program Bronze Award.
The DOH Office of Drinking Water review and tracks the turbidity data submitted by systems on their monthly operations reports to ensure compliance with regulations. In addition, maximum daily turbidity values reported in the reports are entered into the Optimization Assessment Software computer program. Using this software, they are able to rank systems according to their relative performance.
DOH offers silver, gold and platinum awards for water systems that sustain optimized performance for longer periods of time. The City’s Water Treatment Plant Operators are already charting their path to these more prestigious awards, says Brent Andrews, Water Operations Supervisor.