Cost-effective THM removal and happier customers
Flush-triggering complaints have gone down by 90%
The following is an interview with Greg Alexander, General Manager of Rayburn Country Municipal Utility District (RCMUD) in Jasper County, Texas.
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Can you tell us a little bit about you, your organization and your water system?
My name is Greg Alexander and I am the General Manager for Rayburn Country Municipal Utility District (RCMUD). I have been working here for 22 years.
We provide water and sewer services for over 1000 customers throughout Jasper County, Texas. We have 55 miles of sewer line, 50 miles of water line, and two groundwater wells. We are considering the addition of a third well due to the growth of tourism in the area.
What were your initial steps to reduce THMs?
Years ago, RCMUD and the RCMUD Board worked with a project engineer to find options for reducing THMs. Cost was a big issue for all solutions we explored.
RCMUD was originally a free chlorine system. We decided to switch to chloramine disinfectant as it was the most economical option known to us at the time. Using chloramine did help reduce our THMs, however, it came with the consequence of bad water aesthetics. The water had an unpleasant, cloudy tea-like look to it and it became obvious chloramine was not all we had hoped for. We then switched back to chlorine and re-started the search for a more viable THM solution.
How did you hear about Ixom Watercare and our THM removal systems? Why did you consider our solutions?
Other systems in our region were using reverse osmosis (RO) or chlorine dioxide to solve their THM problems; however, these are very expensive to implement. We also investigated ozonation but concluded it would not reduce THMs as much as we needed.
In my research I happened to find your THM removal video on the Ixom Watercare website which I shared with our engineer. He was intrigued by your solution, so we investigated further.
After our initial conversation, Ixom Watercare offered us a spray aeration field test kit, which would allow us to observe the concept and test the water for THM reduction before advancing the project. We took the field test option and the results spoke for themselves: a 50% reduction for all three samples that we ran through the field test nozzle.
Price was also a big consideration for the Board members. Ixom Watercare’s THM Removal System was the most competitively priced of all the options we looked into.
What are the biggest advantages that our system offers?
From a regulatory standpoint, the THM reduction is the biggest and most obvious advantage.
On top of that, we have lots of H2S in our wells. The spray aeration removes a lot of the smell out of the water improving aesthetics even more.
Our operators definitely gain time savings as well since we have to flush less often than we did prior to using your system. While we still maintain a flush program every month, the “flush-triggering” complaints have gone down by 90%.
It is really great that the spray aerators were installed with legs to rest on. We have had source power issues at the site and have had to pull out one of the sprayers to replace the motor. The legs made them simple to work on and keep the units standing up if we ever have to drain the tank.
Finally, when we had to order parts from you, the speediness of ordering and shipping was great. When equipment goes down in our industry, we must get it up and running immediately. A lot of other companies we deal with have issues getting our order completed in a timely manner. We’ve had really good success with Ixom Watercare getting parts ordered and shipped right away.
Can you summarize your THM removal results?
Before the installation of your equipment, our THMs were between 180 and 230 µg/L. Your project evaluation recommended two spray aerators per tank; however, we went with an incremental approach starting with one spray aerator per tank. Our THMs immediately dropped down close to 50% to between 90 and 115 µg/L. This was a great result but we were still over the Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL). After the addition of the second spray aerator in each tank, our THMs now range from 50 to 65 µg/L.
What is your advice to others who might be considering Ixom Watercare THM Removal Systems?
I would definitely try the field test nozzle kit. I was skeptical at first but when we tested it out, it showed the concept worked. That gave us confidence to move forward with the project.
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