Charles A. Wemlinger Water Treatment Plant - Executive Summary

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The City of Aurora, Colorado, Utilities Department operates two drinking water treatment facilities which provide water to the 265,000 citizens of the City.  Drinking water produced at these two facilities exceeds the quality of standards set by the USEPA and Colorado Department of Public Health and The Environment.  Water treated at these facilities comes from prisine, high mountain lakes and City managed reservoirs. 
The City of Aurora, Wemlinger Water Treatment Plant (Wemlinger) is a direct filtration, drinking water treament facility.  Wemlinger was built in 1983 with an original tratment capacity of 40 millions gallons per day.  From a subsequent plant expansions, the plant is now able to treat 60 million gallons of drinking water per day.  During the expansion, the facility was updated to meet existing building, fire and construction codes.  In addition, operation, instrumentation, and monitoring equipment were updated to enhance treatment.  Overall, Wemlinger produces an excepti 
onal product safely and economically.  
Chlorine is used at this facility for disinfection of source waters.  Chlorine is handled in 1 ton containers.  Containers are housed in a room specifically designed for chlorine handling.  The room is enclosed with a fan mounted at floor level in the case of accidental release.  A chlorine "B" kit is stationed on the north wall of the room.  Standard operating procedures (SOP) require eight containers to be on-line for disinfection purposes.  The containers are set up in two banks of four containers.  A self contained breathing appratus is mounted outside of the room in case of an accidental release.  SOP for chlorine container delivery, replacement and return is detailed in the vendor SOP, facility SOP and Safety Manual.  During 2003, the chlorine system will be updated to meet the current applicable codes, USEPA and AWWA regulations.  A chlorine scrubber, which removes chlorine gas from exhaust air, will be inst 
alled, thus, improving treatment and safey operations.  
Ammonia feed system was installed in 1988.  Ammonia is used to maintain the chlorine residual of finished water in the distribution system.  Ammonia is stored in a bulk 8600 gallon tank.  A possible release of ammonia would be most likely to occure inside of the plant, thus limiting the possibility of public exposure.  A SOP for ammonia delivery and handling is detailed in the facility SOP and Safey manual.  
In December of 1998, a new ammonia tank which meets current applicable codes, USEPA and AWWA regulations was installed.  This 8,000 gallon tank is of steel construction and is double walled.  This fully meets UST regulations.  
Of utmost importance to the City is the safey of the public, environment and the employees.  In order to maintain safe conditions, the City has developed plans for responsible operations of the plant, emergency response, and routine maintenance.   
The accidental release prevention an 
d response policies are embodied in the Wemlinger Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Utilities Department Water Operations Group Safely Manual (Safety Manual).  The Safety Manual is updated every five years.  In addition, Wemlinger has cooperated with local emergency responders to develop emergency respose operating procedures.  Training drills have been staged with the Aurora Fire Department.  Accidental release prevention and emergency response policies and procedures are kept at both facilities.  Policies in these documents have been developed with the cooperation of the City's Risk Management and Fire Protective Department.  Employees are trained to sespond in the event of an accidental release of a regulated substance.   
There has never been an accidental release of chlorine at the Wemlinger plant.  This is attributed to well trained staff and contiued preventative maintenance.  In the last five years, one accidental ammonia release was reported.  The accidental release occu 
rred March 22, 1994.  The release was an exposure incident of minimal quantity.  There were no offsite, nor onsite consequences which resulted in death, injury, property damage, environmental damage, or public evacuation.  One person was exposed to the liquid, treated by the City medical team, and released.  The circumstances surrounding the release were investigated and corrective actions were performed accordingly. 
An Emergency Response Plan is in place at the facility and is coordinated with the City of Aurora Fire Protection Department, Aurora Police Department and the LEPC.  Drills are conducted on a regular basis to keep responders and plant personnel up-to-date on the latest response strategies.
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