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Posted on: May 20, 2021

Testing underway at High Level Water Treatment Facility

Water Treatment 01Staff at the Town of High Level’s Water Treatment Facility are finishing a plant trial for new water treatment products that they hope could lead to improved water in the community and lower costs overall.

For the past two weeks, one of the three treatment units at the facility has been using a series of new coagulation chemicals to test whether they could be more effective than the current water treatment process.

The water being tested does not go into the community at all – during the testing process, the water is discharged to the waste collection system used to dispose of typical waste material generated at the facility.

These tests are performed at regular intervals as new opportunities or technologies present themselves. In this case, the Town is looking for ways to avoid the rising costs associated with the chemicals currently being used.

The testing is being done with the help of a company called Clearwater Calgary. Following some initial testing, the company devised a treatment for the water to be tested.

Currently, the Town uses Potassium permanganate as an oxidizer at the beginning of the water purification process. Aluminum sulfate is used as a coagulant, and then a polymer is added to clump those coagulants together to be settled out before final filtering.

The test chemicals are expected to be more efficient at removing organic compounds produced from the natural decay of algae and plant life found in the Footner Lake water source.

The Town of High Level deals with extremely high levels of organic material in its source water, leading to significant challenges and costs to continue to produce safe potable water. Organic material removal is very complex, and any residual compounds can lead to taste and odour issues and some remaining color.

While the process looks very positive in its initial phases, continued testing is required before a decision to change processes can be made. Testing of the new products will continue until all the possible combinations of dosages and injection points are investigated, and water testing requirements have been finalized.

Early results showed it the new products may improve the water quality in High Level at a higher initial product cost, but it could also provide additional cost savings in the overall treatment process.