Constructed in 1969, the Vicksburg Water Plant employs 9 full time employees and has provided an excellent product throughout the years. The facility operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. We are confident that the facility can meet or exceed drinking water standards for the next ten years without modifications. Currently, the facility produces water that exceeds the standards set for potable water.
The facility has eleven raw water wells with a capacity of 2 million gallons per day each. The raw water has a total hardness of 240-340 ppm (parts per million), an alkalinity of 260-400 ppm, 7-8 ppm iron, a Ph of 6.9-7.1, standard units and undesirable amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas and carbon dioxide.
The first stage of treatment in the process is aeration. Here Iron is oxidized, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are freed to the atmosphere and the Ph is increased by .3 or .4 standard units as the carbon dioxide is removed. In the next stage of treatment the water passes through the softening units where pebble quick lime is added to soften and reduce alkalinity. Here the Ph rises to approximately 10.5-10.7. Oxidized iron clings to lime floc and settles to the bottom as sludge and is drawn off at the bottom of the basin. The sludge is dewatered in the new belt press system after polymers are added and trucked away for storage and future use in various recycling efforts by contractors
The next phase of treatment is called recarbonation. Here natural gas is burned to produce carbon dioxide thereby lowering the Ph to 8.5-8.9 standard units.
After the previous stage, chlorine is added for disinfection purposes. The plant recently converted to a safer, but effective form of chlorine. Liquid chlorine is now used in the place of numerous cylinders of gaseous chlorine. This protects employees as well as those traveling to and from the harbor project area to the many industrial sites nearby.
The final stage of the treatment process is filtration. Here the water enters mixed media filters made up of anthracite, sand and gravel where they take out the precipitates of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide from the softening and recarbonation processes. Any foreign matter is removed here also. The plant uses a back wash pump to wash the filters.
As an added bonus, fluoride is added to the water at this point to prevent tooth decay. The water has now undergone the necessary Ph corrections, and the hardness has been adjusted so that soaps and detergents can be used in moderation to perform their tasks in our daily lives.
The finished water is then released through an extensive pumping system. After demand is met, 3 million gallons of finished water is stored at the plant to meet any peak demand that might occur. The plant has two 6000 gpm, two 4000 gpm and one 2000 gpm high service pumps that can be used to move that finished water to homes and industries when needed.