FPU debuts new water plant with open house and reception

Fayetteville Public Utilities’ new Water Treatment Plant is in full operation and is meeting its expectations of producing higher volumes of drinking water while also raising the bar for water quality.

“With its state-of-the-art membrane filtration system, fiber-connected water tank monitoring system and its automation for chemical feeds the new plant has brought local water treatment and drinking water production to where it needs to be to serve our community for decades to follow,” says FPU’s CEO and General Manager Britt Dye.

The new water plant began in late 2014 at the Eldad Road location in front of the previous treatment plant. During construction, the existing plant continued to produce drinking water for FPU customers. After months of construction, plant operators were able to transfer operations to the new plant temporarily for testing purposes and to check overall operations.

Dye welcomed guests to the facility on Oct. 18 for an open house reception and tour of the facility.

FPU’s new water plant is currently producing a little over four million gallons of water per day and is equipped to accommodate upgrades to filter and produce six million and eventually up to eight million gallons per day as needed. 

“With the future of our community in mind, we have constructed a water plant to serve customer growth and to continue meeting the ever-increasing water quality testing requirements through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation,” says Dye.

The plant features many upgrades to streamline the water treatment and production processes like redundant trains for the flocculation and sedimentation processes which allow for maintenance and cleaning without a plant shutdown, as was necessary at the previous water plant.

 The new water plant includes a state-of-the-art SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, designed using fiber optic cable for secure and reliable connectivity, and provides vital plant operation information for water tank storage levels, instrumentation, automatic chemical feeds and overall plant monitoring.

The plant also includes new laboratory and water testing areas to check raw, settled, processed and deionized water samples daily.

“The membrane filters are the cornerstone of FPU’s new Water Treatment Plant,” says FPU’s David Posey, water plant supervisor. “The filtration system pushes water through a physical barrier with a pore size or opening small enough to remove bacteria and some viruses.”

The membrane filters consist of thousands of noodle-like fibers with a 0.02 micron (micrometer) pore size. In comparison, the average human hair is 100 microns. There are over 10,000 of these fibers per module of the membrane system, and each contains 600 square feet of surface area.

“When I came on the board nine years ago, water treatment was certainly a priority,” says FPU’s Board Chairman Janine Wilson. “I commend all who have had a part in contributing to this facility and the improvements it has made in our community.”
 


 

 

 

 

 

IN THE PHOTOS:
Helping commemorate the FPU Water Treatment Plant’s completion are local officials along with FPU staff and the board of directors. From left are, seated, FPU board members Glenn Oldham, Micky Lawson, William Hurd, Michael Whisenant, Russ Dixon and Paul Richardson. Standing: Mayor Jon Law, Sen. Jim Tracy, Rep. Pat Marsh, FPU CEO and General Manager Britt Dye, FPU Board Chairman Janine Wilson, former Mayor John Ed Underwood, Doug Shelton of the Rural Utilities Service, Dudney Fox of Trestles LLC and David Posey.

FPU’s CEO and General Manager Britt Dye is interviewed by Huntsville, AL, Channel 48 news team to spotlight the completion of the new water plant.

These photos show various stages of the water treatment and plant operation. First, after water travels through the flocculation and sedimentation basins and particles are removed, water enters the equalization basin, ready for filtration. The noodle-like fibers inside each membrane filter remove impurities from the water. The plant’s SCADA system monitors water flow, tank levels and overall plant operation, providing more accurate information for Posey and other plant operators.