Water Programs and System Improvements
All customers expect their water to be clean and safe. That is why GUC makes sure the water delivered to each customer is of the highest quality. When water leaves the WTP, it is at its freshest and purest. One of the ways GUC safeguards the water delivered to customers is through the cross-connection control program. This program is designed to prevent contamination of the public water system through an unprotected cross connection. Whether these connections are permanent or temporary, they can be dangerous and could contaminate or pollute the public water system through backflow. Protective measures must be taken to prevent this potential backflow hazard.
Federal law requires GUC to protect the water supply from potential contamination or pollution. To do this, all industrial, most commercial and all irrigation customers are required to install backflow prevention assemblies. These assemblies must be installed before any branching of the customer’s
plumbing can occur. Different types of backflow preventers are required depending on the hazard. Severe hazards exist when there is potential that backflow could create a health threat. Lawn irrigation systems, hospitals, medical offices and manufacturing plants using chemicals are some examples of a severe hazard. Moderate hazards exist from a backflow occurrence that causes discolored or aesthetically objectionable water, but is not a health threat. Restaurants and convenience stores are examples of moderate hazards.
Facilities on GUC’s public water system are evaluated to determine which hazard(s), if any, may potentially exist and the type of back flow prevention assembly that is required. After an approved backflow prevention assembly has been installed and tested, it must be re-tested annually. Only individuals who have been certified through a GUC-approved testing school can test backflow assemblies.
Greenville Utilities constructed a backflow testing lab to ensure contractors and plumbers have the knowledge and skills needed to install and test backflow assemblies. Opened in March 2008, the Lab is housed in its own building on the grounds of the WTP and provides a site for quarterly recertification classes and bi-annual training classes. For more information about the Cross-Connection Control Program, call (252) 551-1551.
Presettling Impoundment Dredging
In 2016 GUC dredged the WTP Presettling Impoundment. The impoundment helps to smooth out any turbidity swings in the raw water supply from the Tar River by allowing heavy sediments like dirt and sand to settle to the bottom. Over time, the sediments accumulate in the impoundment and must be removed.
Sand and debris also accumulate near the inpoundment’s intake screens where water enters from the river. These screens must be backwashed to remove the deposits from around them. Removing accumulation from around the intake screens reduces the number of backwashes needed and allows more water to be treated.
GUC contracted with a dredging company and divers to remove sand build up in the impoundment and around the intake screens. The completion of this project provides a higher quality of water entering the plant and reduces the amount of costly chemicals needed to treat the water.