Water Treatment Process

Water Treatment GeneralMiddle-Fork-Plant-Sediment-Basin.jpg

Typically, there are three water treatment processes in our industry, and WCSA employs all three. First, if there is a groundwater source that is not under the influence of surface water, generally, all the utility must do is add chlorine for disinfection. Second, if there is a groundwater source that is under the influence of surface water, the utility must do more than add chlorine. However, most groundwater sources are too pure (clean) for conventional water treatment to be effective. For that reason, membrane (filtration) technology is employed. Third, if there is a groundwater source that is under the influence of surface water and not very clean, or if the water source is surface water, conventional water treatment is typically the most effective. 
 

Reservation Spring

This groundwater source is an artesian (groundwater under positive pressure) spring that flows by gravity from the community of Taylors Valley. Chlorine and fluoride are the only treatment required to meet or exceed water quality standards. From this location, this water is used to serve Taylor’s Valley, while the remainder flows by gravity along the Virginia Creeper Trail to nearby Damascus, Alvarado, Bethel, and other areas along the Route 58 J.E.B. Stuart Highway corridor, from Damascus to the Middle Fork Drinking Water Plant. From this location, any excess water can be pumped toward Glade Spring, the Town of Abingdon or the Bristol area. It is believed that this source was developed in the 1930s under the Works Progress/Projects Administration. For redundancy, this area, except for Taylor’s Valley, can also be served by the Middle Fork Drinking Water Plant. 


Mill-Creek-Plant-Tanks-Clearwells.jpgMill Creek Drinking Water Plant

The Mill Creek Water Treatment Plant is a membrane filtration plant that is jointly owned by WCSA and the Town of Chilhowie. The plant has a capacity of 2.5 million gallons per day. 

Water is supplied to the treatment plant from three springs, or groundwater that was deemed to be under the influence of surface water. These sources are too pure for conventional treatment to be effective. Water travels from the three springs into a water storage tank for mixing and is then pumped into the treatment plant. Water travels through a prefiltration process before it is again pumped into the headworks of the membrane filtration.

Once water travels through the membrane filters, chlorine and fluoride are added, and the water is piped to two parallel water storage tanks located beside the water treatment plant. Water remains in the tanks until it has met the required disinfection time. Water is then pumped into the Town of Chilhowie’s and the WCSA’s distribution systems.

The Mill Creek Drinking Water Plant primarily serves Wideners Valley, Friendship, Glade Spring, Meadowview, and Emory, as well as the Town of Chilhowie.

 

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