Lewes celebrates new drinking water treatment plantNew facility improves reliability
Lewes — The public is invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of Lewes Board of Public Works new drinking water treatment facility.
The BPW last year approved spending $1.3 million to build the new plant and replace the utility’s aging facility.
Darrin Gordon, BPW general manger, said the new plant was badly needed because the Schley Avenue treatment facility was no longer reliable.
In mid-June 2011, a brief system-wide water outage made the BPW aware of the old system’s vulnerability.
URS Corp., a BPW consulting engineering firm, analyzed the water outage and found two pumps used to fill the water tower had failed, and an automated telephone dialing system designed to notify plant operators about low water-tank levels also failed.
“We’re going to try to eliminate this from ever happening again,” C. Wendell Alfred, board president said a few days after the incident.
The new system has reserve pumping capability, new water-pressure sensors and a new, automatic telephone system.
The facility uses the same water-treatment process as the old plant– pH adjustment to reduce acidity, disinfection with chlorine and addition of fluoride – as required by the state.
Lewes’ water pressure and award-winning drinking water quality would remain top notch, Gordon said.
Bearing Construction Co. of Sudlersville, Md., built the facility, which is capable of treating up to 2.88 million gallons per day, slightly more than the old system’s capacity.
Lewes’ peak water usage, 1.6 million gallons per day, occurs during summer.
Gordon said growth projections for the area show the new plant would provide adequate capacity for approximately 25 years.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, at 33464 Wellfield Lane, which is next to the Cape Henlopen School District Office at 1270 Kings Highway.
At noon, following tours of the facility, a light lunch will be served. Those interested in the tour and lunch must register for the event by calling the BPW office at 302-645-6228.
The grand opening of Lewes’ new $1.3 million drinking water treatment plant is set at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19.
Lewes Board of Public Works directors determined it was time to replace its old water treatment system when it failed briefly in June 2011.