OCWA’s Otisco Lake Water Treatment Plant and Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant recently both received the prestigious 2018 Partnership for Safe Water’s Directors Award in recognition of their high level of performance and safety. Significantly, 2018 was the 20th year in a row that the Otisco WTP recieved the award, and the 3rd consecutive year for the Ontario WTP.
The Partnership for Safe Water is a unique cooperative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and five diverse public water associations to encourage water treatment facilities to expand beyond meeting regulatory requirements and provide a higher level of water quality and treatment plant operations.
The Director’s Award is awarded to water utilities who demonstrate through a peer review process that they have taken the steps necessary to upgrade their treatment processes to provide the safest and most reliable water possible. The procedures used by the Partnership result in the systematic analysis, identification and correction of factors which could limit the performance of the treatment systems.
In the case of OCWA’s Otisco WTP, it has steadily reduced its self-imposed effluent turbidity goal to below even the stringent recommendations of the Partnership. This has allowed the plant to continue operating at full flow even at times of high lake turbidity. Major upgrades undertaken within the past decade to improve the quality of water leaving the plant include the addition of two new carbon filters (for a total of 6), pH adjustment, addition of an air scour system, new rate of flow controllers, replacement of analog instrumentation and controls with a distributed I/O digital control system and the elimination of chlorine gas.