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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A FLOODING STATUS UPDATE FOR CUSTOMERS OF
COLUMBUS WATER WORKS

The extreme rainfall has been challenging for Columbus Water Works (CWW).  The flood waters overwhelmed the sanitary sewer collection system, causing twelve overflows.  These have all been reported to the Environmental Protection Division (EPD).  There have been several backups into homes as well.  CWW continues to work with our insurance claims adjuster and property owners to resolve these issues.  As the river and creeks levels recede, CWW staff will inspect sewer lines that are vulnerable to aggressive erosion to determine damages, if any.
 
The South Columbus Water Resources Facility (SCWRF), the wastewater plant, was flooded. The river level was so high that the gravity flow through the plant was impeded and the effluent sampler was submerged. Staff had to access the plant via boat. There was some leakage into the waterproof buildings.  Staff are making assessments of the damages which appear minimal at this time. Due to excellent response by the plant staff, the biological processes were hopefully protected, allowing the plant to be quickly restored to operating conditions. The plant is operational. It will take several days, pending laboratory analysis to determine if the plant has been restored to permit compliance.
 
The muddy river water stressed the North Columbus Water Resources Facility (NCWRF), the drinking water treatment plant, in removing turbidity. The plant experienced some mechanical failures (even with redundancy) that impeded the alum and lime feed systems that cause the muddy particles to settle out. As a result of the mechanical failure, higher than normal levels of alum passed through the filters into the distribution system.  The disinfection process was not impacted and chlorine residual testing leaving the plant and in the distribution system indicate effective disinfection.  The mechanical problems have been corrected and water production was restored to its high quality on Dec 26th. The drinking water is safe, but cloudier than normal. The Fort Benning water plant was off line during the event and was not impacted.

CWW is flushing the system based on customer calls.  It may take a couple of days for the water to pass on through to the outer reaches of the distribution system.  If you continue to have cloudy tap water please contact Columbus Water Works at (706) 649-3400 and crews will be dispatched to flush the system.
 
Columbus Water Works has been in contact with the EPD in regards to SSOs, the flooding of the wastewater plant and the cloudy drinking water. There will be a public notice required by the EPD in regards to the cloudy drinking water. We are awaiting their reply and will provide the necessary notification within the mandated 30 day period.


“I am extremely grateful to all of the Columbus Water Works team that worked many unscheduled hours during the Christmas holiday.  When they had planned to be with their family and friends, they had to adjust their priorities in order to protect and restore water and sewer services to the Columbus Water Works customers”, said Steve Davis, President Columbus Water Works.

Monday, December 28, 2015
Due to recent heavy rains, our Columbus water treatment plant experienced very high levels of turbidity (cloudiness) in our source water which is pumped from Lake Oliver.  During this stressed condition, on December 25th & 26th, the water treatment plant also experienced malfunctions in the equipment used to feed Alum and Lime that settle the turbidity (cloudiness) out of the water.  As a result, four turbidity readings on the filtered water were above the standard set by the EPA.  On finished water leaving the plant, temporary discoloration was caused by an imbalance of treatment chemicals – primarily the Alum and Lime, which are mineral based and commonly used in drinking water treatment.  Chlorine disinfection was maintained throughout this period to eliminate bacteria.  The equipment malfunctions were repaired and normal plant treatment operation restored by 11:30 PM on December 26th.  Columbus Water Works began systematically flushing the discolored water out of the distribution system.  However, some discoloration may remain in areas of the distribution system for the next few days.  Although the water is safe to drink, if you do experience discoloration, try flushing for a few minutes.  If the water does not clear within a few minutes, please contact Columbus Water Works at 706-649-3400 and crews will be dispatched to your area to flush.  Columbus Water Works apologizes for this inconvenience and we thank you for your patience.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Muscogee County has received an abundance of rain over the last few days causing many areas to flood. With the additional forecasted rain, there has been some speculation to the Columbus Water Works' water plant being at risk. Columbus Water Works would like to assure our customers that there is no impending risk to the safety or quality of your drinking water or possible flooding.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
The holidays are a special time of year to share with our friends and family.  The Columbus Water Works wishes you a joyous holiday season and great fortune for the new year. NCWRF

As we are spending time with our loved ones, it’s important to remember those in need.  Even the smallest act of kindness can make a tremendous impact on someone else's holiday.


Each year, we decorate our North Columbus Water Resources Facility on River Road for Christmas.  If you’re in the neighborhood, please drive by and take a look our Christmas lights.


Don’t forget to save your holiday cooking grease and bring it to one of our eight drop off locations or to our Grease Recycling and Pharmaceutical Disposal event on January 9!  Click here for details.


For the holidays, our offices will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Emergency Crews will be available, if you have a leak or other water related emergency, please call 706-649-3400.

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