Searcy Water Treatment Plant - Executive Summary

| Accident History | Chemicals | Emergency Response | Registration | Source | Executive Summary |

In this water treamtment plant facility (Searcy Water Treatment Plant), we handle chorine which is considered hazardous by EPA, OSHA, etc.  The same properties that makes chlorine valuable as a water treatment chemical, also makes it necessary to observe certain precautions in handling chlorine.  Overall, the prevention of unnecessary human exposures, reducing the threat to our personal health as well as our co-workers, and reducing the threat to nearby members of the community is the main goal of incorporating this Risk Management Plan into our daily operations.  It is our policy to adhere to all applicable federal and state rules and regulations.  Safety depends upon the manner in which we handle and use chlorine combined with the safety devices inherent in the design of this facility, with the safe handling procedures that we utilize, along with the training of our personnel. 
The primary purpose of this facility is to treat the water supply by utilizing chemicals such as chlorine.  
Chlorine is recieved by individual one ton cylinders and stored until needed.  Chlorine is fed into the water system by automatic vacuum operated feeders.  The vacuum system will help prevent the continual operation of the chlorine feed is there is an incerase or decrease in pressure or vacuum flow.  Access to the site is restricted to authorized facility employees, authorized management personnel, and aiuthorized contractors.  The maximum amount of chlorine at this Searcy Water Treatment Plant is 14,000 pounds. 
Our employees conduct proper cylinder change-out procedures as needed.  They also review operating procedures and maintenance tasks daily or as needed.  The prevention program for this facility is a Level 2.  Lock-out/Tag-out procedures are used to help prevent an accidental release of chlorine.  When maintenance is conducted on the chlorination system, the Plant Manager (Scott Boggs), and the Maintenance Manager (Steve Lewis) approve the proper installation of materials, and 
completion of installation.  Any change in maintenance procedures is reviewed and approved by the same two individuals.  All operators at this facility are knowledgeable in the proper start-up procedures for the water treatment operations.  All guages, feed lines, cylinders, etc. are visually inspected on a daily basis. 
Our emergency response (action) plan was developed with the assistance of Environmental Data Services, Inc., and the Searcy Fire Department, and the White County OES.  If a chlorine release occurs at the 184 Riverside Park Road location, the chlorine alarm will sound which will notify personnel at the facility of a release.  Plant Manager (Scott Boggs) will get personnel organized for an emergency action response (chlorine manual valve shutoff) and then possible evacuation if manual valve doesn't stop release.  On-duty personnel have SCBA equipment, and trained confined space personnel, that they will use to enter the confined space and determine extent of release.  T 
hey can perform an emergency action by attempting to shut-off the chlorine cyinder by using the manual valve.  If the release cannot be controlled by the manual valve shut-down, then evacuation procedures will then be followed.  A head count will be made of employees in reference to employee shift roster, then Dan Dawson (Asst. Utility Mgr/Safety Coordinator) will be notified, the 911 call will be made to notify the Searcy Fire Department , White County LEPC, White County OES, Searcy Police Department, and White County Sherrif's office of the release.  Searcy Fire Department will organize the Emergency Response Activities, and will start evacuation of the affected population.  The chlorine vapor release could be slowed by not starting the manual vent system in the chlorine room until notification to 911 system is made, and evacuation activities begin.  This will not prevent chlorine from releasing, but will allow for some time to respond. 
The worst case scenario for this facility is a 
one ton cylinder failure, which would be a release of 2,000 pounds of chlorine gas into the atmosphere.  Active mitigation has been considered for this scenarion consisting of manual shutoffs, and automatic vacuum feed chlorine system.  Passive mitigation has also ben considered for this release scenarion, which would be a release into an enclosed space with little contact with outside air.  It is assumed that the entire contents of the cylinder are released as vapor.  The distance to endpoint of 0.087 mg/l for the worst case scenarion is 3.5 miles.  The area surrounding the facility is considered to be urban due to the thick trees and vegetation, as well as the hilly terrain.  The worst case scenarion would impact approximately 11,500 people. 
An alternate release scenario was determined for the 184 Riverside Park Road location.  The chlorine cylinders operate on an automatic vacuum feed system, so the amount of chlorine released at the 184 Riverside Park Road location would be a min 
imal (approximately 10 pounds).  This release of chlorine would result in a distance to endoint of approximately 0.08 miles.  This relatively short distance would impact approximately 10 persons.  (All populations were based on Landview Software). 
There have been no accidental release of chlorine ffrom this facility in the past five years.  The automatic vacuum feed system helps prevent/limit releases of chlorine that could escape during operational periods.  Operators of the chlorination system are required to check instruments, cylinders, feed systems, etc. on a daily basis to aid in the prevention of accidental releases.  Even though this is a Level 2 Prevention Program, Searcy Water & Sewage has chosen to utilize Level 3 Process Safety Management Prevention Program to furthur emphasize their efforts in preventing accidental releases. 
This water treatment facility complies with EPA's Accidental Release Prevention Rule, and with all applicable state/federal regulations.
Click to return to beginning