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After breaking ground in 2015, the City of Pocatello Water Pollution Control (WPC) Department’s new ultraviolet disinfection system is operational.
In late April, workers made the switch from a chlorine-based disinfection system to an ultraviolet (UV) setup for wastewater that is set to leave the facility. Now, instead of being treated with a dose of chlorine gas to remove harmful organisms, the water is passed through ultraviolet light, which destroys the bacteria and viruses.
“One of the biggest benefits in switching to UV from chlorine is safety for the public, WPC employees and visitors to the WPC Facility,” said Jon Herrick, Water Pollution Control Superintendent. “We no longer have to store large quantities of chlorine to treat the wastewater and sulfur dioxide to remove the chlorine after the water is treated.”
Officials say aging equipment in the chlorine system led to the switch to ultraviolet and the ultraviolet system cost approximately $1.5 million.
On average, the WPC facility treats 7.5 million gallons of wastewater daily from the cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck. The department is also tasked with maintaining more than 250 miles of sanitary sewer lines and 23 lift/pump stations.
For more information on the department, visit pocatello.us/wpc.