W. P. J. W. A. Treatment Plant - Executive Summary

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To ensure employee safety, and reduce the potential for exposure to the community, Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority (WPJWA) Treatment Plant Facility provides awareness training on the chemical hazards of chlorine and the safe handling of hazardous materials at the facility.  Personnel working with hazardous materials are trained in safe operating procedures, the proper utilization of safety equipment and safeguards, and maintenance techniques required to operate in a safe and efficient manner. 
WPJWA Treatment Plant Facility is a water treatment facility that utilizes chlorine in its' treatment process.  The chlorine is contained inside a brick structure (chlorine scale room) in six one ton cylinders for the pre-treatment process.  Up to twenty one ton cylinders can be kept on the outside storage rack adjacent to the chlorine scale room.  Empties are stored in the same area.  The cylinders are positioned horizontally on three double tank hydraulic scales.  WPJWA Treatment Plant F 
acility employs a pressure operated, dry gas feed system with manual switchover.  All cylinders in the scale room are active.  When the cylinders are activated, the chlorine gas passes through a pressure reducing valve to the chlorinators located in the third floor feed room.  The chlorinators adjust the feed rates to produce an appropriate mixture of domestic water and chlorine relative to the raw water being treated.  The mixture travels through the solution line to the application point where it is injected into the raw water being pumped from the river. 
In the case of a catastrophe affecting chlorine at the facility, the worst case scenario would involve the release of the contents of a one ton cylinder in a ten minute period.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) RMP Guidance for Waste Water Treatment Plants Referecne Tables, the contents of the cylinder would be released at the rate of 200 pounds/minute.  If the cylinder was not enclosed, and there are no con 
trols, the release would have an impact on the environment and population up to a distance of 3 miles in a rural setting.  The cylinders are in an enclosed area which will reduce the potential distance of release of chlorine into the environment. 
A more likely occurence would involve a leak in the cylinder, valves, connectors, or piping involved in the process.  Remote sensors and alarms alert operators of a chlorine discharge within the enclosure.  Using the RMP Guidance for Waste Water Treatment Plants, if damage was done to a cylinder during the loading or unlaoding procedure, the offsite impact would encompass .3 miles. 
WPJWA Treatment Plant Facility has implemented a prevention program to reduce the potential for an accidental release.  The process equipment is evaluated against best engineering practices and adheres to codes and standards regulating the water treatment process.  Supplier manuals and maintenance instructions are used as a basis scheduled maintenance activities a 
nd equipment changes.  Training on operating procedures, the safe handling of chlorine, and inspection and testing procedures are in place to reduce the potential for an accidental release.  Operators inspect the process on an hourly basis and monitor chlorine sensors from a remote control panel.  Personnel are trained in the use of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and the use of repair kits for one ton and 150 pound cylinders. 
The facility emergency response plan has been approved by the Local Emergency Planning Committee of Allegheny County.  In addition to Jack Mautino, Facility Emergency Response Coordinator, Mark Lerch may be contacted at 412/243-6254.  If an emergency exists, the facility emergency coordinator will notify Penn Hills Fire Department, Penn Hills Emergency Management Services, Local Emergency Management Agency, and the County Emergency Management Agency.  The facility has in place alarms, both visual and audio, that will notify nearby residents of a releas 
e at the facility.  Employees have been trained in the use of safety equipment (SCBA's), evacuation procedures, and public notification procedures. 
A more intensive training program is being adopted to focus on the chlorine process and the controls required to improve safety for employees and the public.  Employee initial training and retraining will be conducted as required by SARA Title III.  Maintenance procedures with documented schedules have been implemented to ensure that potential equipment failures are reduced due to improved maintenance and inspection activities.
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