Council to hear $1.54 million wastewater filter plan

Switch from sand filter to fabric

The Joplin City Council will be asked to approve a one-point-five-four million dollar contract to upgrade the Turkey Creek Wastewater Treatment plant at Tuesday evening’s meeting. The wastewater treatment sanitary sewer fund would be tapped to replace two sand filters with fabric filters.

Mike Moudy turned on two Aqua Diamond cloth media filters at the water treatment plant Tuesday to show KOAM why the city wants two more. Moudy explained, “They’re more efficient. We put less water back to the plant.”

Two older sand filters, installed back in 1997, work slowly with millions of gallons of water running back into the headworks system at the plant. Those millions of gallons move through screw pumps to grit augers,then to the clarifying filters to trickling filters and to an oxidation ditch to digesters then back to clarifiers. And then again back to the tertiary building and the filters. All that before UV light treatment and a push back into Turkey Creek.

Newer fabric filters installed two years ago simply work faster and better. Moudy said, “These (fabric filters) maybe 100 thousand gallons of water goes back. So, we’re treating less into the plant and these are more efficient.”

Assistant public works director Lynden Lawson said, “There’s 73 cells that are inside the sand filter process so it takes a long time to get through each of those cells. And the diamond fabric filters the water and is a lot cleaner going through that process than the sand filter process.”

Besides cleaning the water better the efficiency could bring a financial savings for the city as well. Moudy explained, “Electricity wise four minutes versus 78 minutes on each one, every time it cycles.”

It used to take all four sand filters to clean 13 million gallons a day. Now the two fabric filters alone can do that. But, having two more offers seamless backups for cleaning and dealing with heavy rains. Lawson added, “So, when we’re able to put out more water out the back, especially if it gets inclement weather, we’re able to ramp it up and stay in step with what’s coming into the plant.”

Replacing the sand filters would require widening these troughs. But once the project gets the green light, they could be up and running in 9 months.

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