Toccoa must get not the lead, but the phosophorous out

17 11 2008

 

— With new environmental rules coming, Toccoa city officials are trying to make sure their pipes are phosphorus-free.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is implementing new standards about how much phosphorus can be in the wastewater the city puts back into streams, said Don Dye, Toccoa water/wastewater director.

“We have never had a phosphorus limit before, but our new limit is now one part per million,” said Dye. “What we typically discharge on a normal discharge day is probably close to three parts per million. We need to implement some kind of system that would remove the phosphorus from the wastewater.”

Phosphorus comes from industrial sources and in certain amounts is unhealthy for stream life. The EPD is now mandating that municipalities must meet certain limits of the element in the water they return to streams after it has been cleaned in a wastewater treatment plant.

The City of Toccoa recently completed a study to determine the best way to meet these limits and found a certain chemical should be added to the process.

“We are going to add alum to it, which will bind up the phosphorus” Dye said. “Plus, we are going to raise the pH, which will make it inherently more able to precipitate the phosphorus out. It is a two-pronged approach to fix the phosphorus problem.”

The cost to put the new system is estimated to be $68,000. City officials are hoping to use a grant to pay for the work.

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