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Norfolk’s new plant to provide cooler water

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NORFOLK — Some residents may experience fresher, cooler and more heavily chlorinated water from the new water treatment plant at 23 Sober St.

Equipped with new error-response and pumping technology, the new plant, which went online March 15, is more efficient and better adapted to addressing issues that arise in the pumping and treatment of ground water, according to Stephen L. Siddon, president of Valley Water Solutions Inc., a contractor hired to operate and maintain the water plant.

The new pumps are each capable of pumping 450 gallons of water per minute into a 19,000-gallon chlorine-contact tank located below the plant building. Two additional distribution pumps, capable of pumping 500 gallons per minute, deliver treated water to the 200,000-gallon water tank on Crabb Street and the new 350,000-gallon tank on Joy Road in Raymondville.

Mr. Siddon said the second set of distribution pumps has created a more efficient water system. However, the pumps will not increase water pressure. Mr. Siddon said project architect Tisdel Associates, Canton, had determined it would be too expensive to attempt to boost pressure.

The pumps are located 160 feet down in the two 400-foot wells, and there is a third test pump. All the pumps draw from the same aquifer. For that reason, it will be necessary to have only one pump operating at most times, Mr. Siddon said.

“It’s like three straws in the same cup,” he said.

Some ratepayers located near Sober Street in the southern part of Norfolk may experience water that is colder out of the tap and more heavily chlorinated than what they had in the past. Residents who live on once dead-ended lines that were looped during the project may notice colder water and increased chlorine levels could be a result of living near the plant.

“I’m sure they can smell it and taste it,” he said.

Mr. Siddon said customers in the Sober Street area now receive water with a chlorine-to-water ratio of one part per million, as opposed to former levels of approximately one half-part per million. He said state and federal law requires water chlorination to kill pathogens.

The new water plant will also feature sensors to turn on and shut off the pumps as a way to control the water levels within the water tower, and in the event of a malfunction within the system it will send a signal to plant operations personnel.

The only work that remains for the project is site work at the new plant and the installation of a security fence. According to a town-produced pamphlet, 24-hour security cameras will guard the new plant.

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