West Columbia, SC, municipal drinking water


The Lake Murray Water Treatment Plant (LMWTP) in West Columbia, S.C., was dedicated in 1991 with a capacity of 6 million gal per day (mgd). With upgrades completed in 2007, the plant has a current capacity of 22.5 mgd. Most of the water from LMWTP is sold; 19% of the water is distributed to the system for which the LMWTP management and staff is responsible.

0In the early 1990s, the water treatment plants in West Columbia began using chloramines as the primary disinfectant to control disinfection byproduct (DBP) concentrations in distribution. Chlorine gas was the source for the chlorine. In 2006, management at LMWTP was asked by the state regulatory agency to maintain a 30-day supply of chlorine on site. As a result, management decided to convert to a MIOX mixedoxidant solution (MOS) onsite generation (OSG) system. The OSG system uses only salt and power to generate a dilute chlorine-based solution, eliminating the storage and handling of hazardous disinfection chemicals.

Making the Switch

The LMWTP management and staff began a three-phase transition to the new system in February 2007 by first replacing chlorine gas with MOS in pretreatment. In March, chlorine gas was replaced with MOS in the chloramination process. The third and final phase of the MOS transition was completed in April, when the anhydrous ammonia gas feed was discontinued.

Immediately after the switch, management was prepared to receive a significant increase in taste and odor complaints from customers in both the wholesaler and direct customer systems. Often, free available chlorine- containing water mixed with chloramines-containing water residing in the distribution system produces chlorinous taste and odor. Management planned for an aggressive flushing program to diminish the level of complaints. Instead, they were able to significantly reduce their flushing program planned for the switch due to the small number of complaints.

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