New membranes ordered for water plant

June 04, 2019 - 148 views

New membranes have been ordered for the Oamaru water treatment plant to address "membrane fouling'' and a reduction in the plant's ability to treat water.

A report to the Waitaki District Council's assets committee states the water treatment plant "can only produce slightly more than demand with little margin for outages or faults.''

Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen said the new membranes were expected to be installed by September.

Council water services and waste manager Martin Pacey said the new membranes would increase the plant's capacity by 30%.

The situation was unique to Oamaru and the council's membrane supplier was working to identify and remedy the issue.

In December, the council issued water restrictions, warning that about 15,000 people on the Oamaru water supply could run out of treated water after sustained heavy rain caused the water entering the Oamaru treatment plant to be three times dirtier than it had ever been in the past.

The report to the committee states council staff would manage the situation by running extra cleaning cycles until the new membranes arrive and the source of the fouling is identified.


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