Arsenic and Uranium Removal from Drinking Water Takes Special Care
Baseline Engineering, the industry leader in the High Plains region, has developed an innovative design approach aimed at removing harmful water constituents while remaining affordable to install and operate. Benkelman, Nebraska is about to realize the benefits of specialized engineering services for water treatment.
Golden, CO (PRWEB) January 24, 2011
The sign welcoming passers by to Benkelman, Nebraska reads, ‘Realize Our Potential.’ The good citizens of this city of 1000 people are about to realize what life without Arsenic and Uranium in their drinking water is like. Baseline Engineering has been hard at work since 2007 to develop a project approach that would be feasible to the City. It’s now engineered and about to break ground.
The EPA recently lowered the arsenic standard for drinking water to 10 parts per billion and the uranium standard to 30 parts per billion. As the compliance deadline passed, many small community water systems went out of compliance. Benkelman is a classic case of a water system that met the old standards, but couldn’t meet the new.
So what did they do? Benkelman enlisted the help of an engineering firm that specializes in this sort of problem. “We took all the standard steps at first,” said John McLain, Senior Project Manager at Baseline. “We started with looking for another source of water. We did a blending analysis.” A well was actually drilled 2 miles outside of town, the new water analyzed and still no luck. “At that point, you have to start looking at treatment options.”
But aren’t treatment options expensive? “Yes, they typically are, and especially when you are dealing with two contaminants.” The makeup of the well water has a lot to do with it. “Benkelman’s needs were unique because their water is unique. The well water is high in silica for one thing, and that makes treatment tricky.”
There are numerous Best Available Technologies approved to treat Arsenic and Uranium, but choosing the correct one takes special care. “We went through a lot of what if scenarios,” said McLain. “For example, what if we adjusted the pH of the water. Could we remove both constituents with one treatment technology?” Wading through the endless sea of new technology and promise is an even more daunting task. “Analyzing new technology is another specialty of ours. Rarely do we recommend the technology that has the lowest equipment purchase price. There is so much more that goes into it, such as operation, maintenance and chemical cost.” McLain says there are so many new technologies entering the marketplace that an engineering company must have a method to analyze them.
McLain says a lot of times they pilot test the treatment technology first and reduce all costs to a present worth. Ultimately, Benkelman is getting a brand new centralized water treatment facility expected to break ground in the Spring of 2011. But what about that price tag. “Water treatment plants are not inexpensive, but we utilize and compare about a half dozen funding sources typically. We actually combined two sources of grants for this project.” McLain said. “To receive grant monies, timing and the way the application is written is paramount.” It’s no wonder that high ranking State officials have said that Baseline’s method is the model for how to create sustainable community development.
For more information about Baseline Engineering, please visit http://www.baselinecorp.com.
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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/01/prweb4961624.htm