Wildfire Impacts Colorado Town's Water Supply

May 21, 2003
USFilter Pre-Engineered Technology Solves Water Source Issues

In 2002, wildfires devastated the area surrounding the town of Bayfield, Colorado's water supply. The resulting environmental impact and residue from the wildfires left the city in an uncomfortable position regarding how its drinking water supply would be affected.

Ash created from fire and the resulting change in vegetation can significantly impact the amount of solids contained in runoff that eventually ends up in streams, rivers and lakes where drinking water is drawn. Significant amounts of turbidity, primarily silt and ash, make water more difficult to treat and the conditions can last for approximately 5 to 7 years until the vegetation recovers to sufficient levels.

Conventional settling technology requires large amounts of land, which can make a treatment plant costly to construct in a mountainous region. Therefore, the town selected USFilter's Microfloc® ACTIFLOC™ package treatment system as an upgrade to its existing municipal drinking water treatment plant.

The ACTIFLOC™ package treatment system provides a robust water treatment system in one-fifth the footprint of a conventional plant. The new equipment will fit into an existing water plant building with minimal modifications. This solution reduces the need for additional excavation and building erection, lowering the cost of the overall project for the community.

"The Actifloc system was the only available technology to treat the ash run off related to the Missionary Ridge fire in 2002," said Robert Ludwig, chief plant operator, Bayfield.

Source: USFilter Memcor

Image by Burnham RNG, courtesy twentytwo & brand.