By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Work has started to update the city's Elm Road water treatment plant to comply with changing Environmental Protection Agency requirements.
City council passed an ordinance last month appropriating money from an Ohio Water Development Authority loan for the project. The $10 million loan will be paid back over 20 years. "It's a requirement of the OEPA, which has two new rules in effect," said Robert L. Davis, city utility services director.
One new rule deals with disinfection of byproducts of water treatment and the other deals with surface water treatment rules.
Kara Allison, an OEPA spokeswoman, said one of the changes deals with the amount of a bacteria found in water that the OEPA deems acceptable. The rule change lowered the acceptable level.
The other rule change addresses turbidity monitoring. Turbidity deals with how quickly particles in water settle, Allison said.
"Both sets of rules deal with requirements for monitoring, reporting requirements and how often they have to do monitoring and report it to OEPA and U.S. EPA," she said.
The improvements are expected to lead to better overall operation and performance of the water treatment facility, according to literature about the project.
The improvements include updates to the process and equipment of the filtration components of water treatment. The project also includes a building addition to the raw water pump station by Mosquito Lake, to store activated carbon and potassium permanganate; rehabilitation and replacement of water pumps; and other improvements.
Activated carbon and potassium permanganate are materials used for chemical absorption in the water treatment process.
"Some of the improvements are being made because the equipment has met its life expectancy," Davis said.
A.P. O'Horo of Youngstown is the project contractor and started the project earlier this month. It's expected to be completed in the summer of 2003.
Davis said residents shouldn't expect to see a change in their water because of the improvements.
"Chances are people won't notice any difference," he said. "With OEPA requirements, you can't really see a difference with the naked eye. It's just nice for them to know that we meet and exceed EPA requirements."