Sussex council gets update on updates at water plant


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Corrosion is going to lead to the replacement of valves and actuators at the Sussex Borough Water Treatment plant, the borough council learned recently.

Plant operater Mike Furrey said there was a great deal of valve corrosion because of the highly wet and damp filter gallery.

The corrosion caused valves to fail. Recently a valve actuator — a mechanical device that moves or controls the valves — was ordered because of an emergency. The valves have been replaced since the June 4 meeting.

There is a bank of four filters. If the plant loses one bank of filters, it puts a stress on the other valves receiving reservoir water. When there is more turbidity, it causes the filters to clog.

In the case of preparing for a possible valve failure, Furrey presented the options of ordering another set of valves and an air actuator to keep on the shelf, considering electric actuators or going to all air actuators.

Furrey said electric actuators are the best. He also said valves and actuators are the most important and most critical part of the Water Treatment Plant.

Next, Furrey explained about excessive sedimentation in the cartridge filter system from the Colesville Reservoir. He asked if dredging would be economical.

High priorities
Furrey informed the Council of other priorities:

The pressure reducing valves are a high priority because the valve controls the amount of water and pressure in the Sussex tank and plant.

The instrumentation in the plant is original. The turbidity meters are so outdated replacement parts are no longer produced.

A noticeable leak has made the water high for the last six months in the clear well. The water tested with low levels of chlorine, so it is most likely coming from the plant instead of ground water.

Furrrey also said significant work has been done. When companies come up they verify that the water quality is excellent.

Also, there have not been any violations since February. The DEP is less involved which means the agency is happy with the progress made.

Councilwoman Annette Stendor asked if the drinking water is safe to which Furrey said the water quality was excellent.

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