A recent inspection of the ground storage tanks at the city’s water treatment plant #4 found a higher-than-expected level of sediment. St. Cloud City Manager Bill Sturgeon noted that the city has not yet received a final report on the inspection, which was conducted Monday.
“Some level of sediment is normal, but preliminary information shows more than what we would ordinarily expect,” said Sturgeon. “We have identified an operational anomaly that we believe was contributing to sediment getting into the storage tanks, and we’ve addressed the issue. We also are working on implementing additional measures to mitigate the likelihood of it happening again. Although we don’t have a final report, we are being proactive in addressing the problem and informing the public based on the preliminary findings. This issue has nothing to do with the filtration system at the plant; everything we’ve seen so far shows that it continues operating as it was designed.”
Dr. Steven Duranceau, Professor of Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Environmental Systems Engineering Institute at the University of Central Florida, said in an earlier report that the testing that has been conducted on St. Cloud’s water shows no cause for concern.
“The material is safe or you wouldn’t be able to use it in the water treatment process at plant #4,” Dr. Duranceau said. “People are accustomed to looking for the UL tag on any electronics they buy as the assurance that it’s safe and doesn’t pose an electrical or fire hazard. The resin used in St. Cloud’s water system is NSF certified, and NSF certification is much more rigorous than UL certification. The water is safe.”
Dr. Duranceau also told city officials that lab tests have confirmed the resin is completely contained in the process and none is able to enter the system.
“We’ve done several tests, and we don’t see anything going out of the plant now,” he said. “Plant #4 has been doing its job as intended ever since the City made the repairs. We see no evidence that any breakthrough is occurring.”
Dr. Duranceau also noted that the steps the City is taking to rid the system of the remaining resin are effective. “It may take several rounds of cleaning, but the problem is going to go away,” he said.
The City is continuing ice pigging activities on water lines feeding the houses of customers who have reported discolored water. Updates on locations are posted to the City’s Facebook page and the City Web site.
“We are blanketing this problem, looking at our operations, inspecting our tanks, doing every test we need to do and asking every question we need to ask to get in front of this situation,” City Manager Bill Sturgeon said. “We are going back and double-checking – even triple-checking – everything. We’re looking at every possible angle. We are committed to doing what it takes to solve this problem.”
Customers with discolored water are urged to report it to the city via the St. Cloud Connect app, the city website, www.stcloud.org (click on Report a Concern) or by phone at 407-957-7344.