Photo Gallery | City Invests in Energy Efficient Upgrades to Columbia Canal Water Treatment Plant
The City of Columbia’s Canal water treatment plant is in the midst of substantial upgrades designed to increase treatment capacity while improving energy efficiency. Currently, the Canal water treatment plant, located next to Riverfront Park off the Columbia Canal, can supply the Midlands area with up to 71 million gallons of water per day (MGD). Once construction is complete, the plant will be able to treat and supply 85 MGD, an increase in treatment capacity equivalent to more than 21 Olympic size swimming pools per day.
Upgrades to the Canal water treatment plant will also allow the plant to operate without need for further expansion for an estimated 15-20 years. Long-term planning was an important theme in the design process. According to John Sherer, P.E., Water Works Specialist at the Canal Plant, “We are investing in the future generations through thoughtful design processes and construction techniques.” In addition to providing more water to the Midlands, a portion of the investment includes specialized pumps designed to move water to customers more efficiently. The new pumps, equipped with energy saving variable frequency drives and high efficiency motors, will allow the City of Columbia to continue providing award-winning water to the Midlands while investing in infrastructure that will serve us into the future.
Variable frequency drives allow pumps to operate at various flow capacities depending on the demand, and therefore can meet the demand much more effectively than conventional pumps. Essentially, these new pumps will be able to supply the exact amount of water needed at any given point in time. This is important because according to a study by the City’s Climate Protection Action Campaign, almost one-third of the City’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 could be attributed to the City’s water delivery facilities, which include the water treatment plant and booster pump stations. These emissions are largely due to the consumption of electricity produced by coal-powered electric plants. In an attempt to optimize the treatment process and reduce the amount of electricity required to distribute the treated water, the City installed six of these new energy efficient pumps at the Canal water treatment plant. Consequently, the City will be able to optimize the water treatment and distribution process while continuing to provide excellent water to its customers.
Other improvements to the Canal water treatment plant include the installation of new water lines at the raw water and high service pump stations. The raw water pump station draws water into the Canal plant for treatment, while the high service pump station pushes the treated water out into the Midlands area. Four of the six new pumps will be housed at the raw water pump station, and room has been allotted for the addition of another pump in the future. The other two pumps have been installed at the high service pump station, and these were installed to replace equipment which has outlived its useful life.
Please contact the City of Columbia Department of Utilities & Engineering at 545-3400 or Victoria Kramer (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 545-3227 if you have questions. If you would like to learn more about the City of Columbia’s Investment in its Water and Sewer infrastructure, visit www.COCWaterSewer.com . To learn more about the Department of Utilities & Engineering, visit columbia.sc.gov/engineering.