LCWA Solves growing drinking water needs

April 11, 2008

About the author: Dean W. Potratz is the Michigan and Western states sales representative for Artesian of Pioneer, Inc. Potratz can be reached at 419.206.0112 or by e-mail at [email protected].


In 1999, the Livingston Community Water Authority (LCWA) was officially formed by Brighton Charter, Green Oak and Hamburg townships. These townships are located along Route 23 in Livingston County, Mich., and each continues to experience high residential and commercial growth. On Jan. 24, 2003, they became a water provider to community residents with the purchase of a producing well field from a local developer.

Next Step

Over the next few years, the townships expanded their waterlines and built a 500,000-gal water tower. LCWA’s next major step was to solve resident water quality issues. Many residents were complaining of rusty, foul-smelling water and demanded improvements to their drinking water. After discussions and bidding by several contractors and engineering firms, a contract was signed on Dec. 8, 2006, with Artesian of Pioneer, Inc. to construct a design-build water treatment plant for LCWA.

Artesian of Pioneer worked with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to design a water treatment plant that could meet the needs of a growing water district and not be a burden to the Huron River watershed. Removing the iron and odor from the potable water supply was an easy problem to solve, but managing the waste that would be generated created more complex issues. Artesian’s design team went to work and successfully received permitting from the DEQ on May 31, 2007. Designed and approved in less than six months, Artesian started construction and maintained on track so the water treatment plant could be in operation by early December 2007.

Ultimately, LCWA plans to treat up to 5 million gal per day (mgd). The Phase I and Phase II design of the iron removal water treatment plant is for 1,330,560 mgd, and completed Phase I construction will produce 665,280 gal per day (gpd). Phase II will require minor upgrades and additional vertical pressure filters to meet the higher water production level. All the other water plant components were constructed to meet the 1,330,560-mgd treatment level. Artesian also designed the plant so water softening could be added if and when the water authority chooses to provide this benefit to its customers.

Demanding Requirements

The new water treatment plant was constructed in an existing residential housing development that had demanding requirements for the design of the building so it would blend in with existing housing structures. The new stylish brick structure contains 3,432 sq ft, with the peak reaching a height just under 35 ft. Construction materials from the existing well house were also implemented into the overall design of the new water treatment plant to enhance the appearance of the housing subdivision.

The plant has four ASME-certified Artesian vertical pressure filters which are 7 ft in diameter by 10 ft in height. Each tank is rated at 115.5 gal per minute with 1-in. baffle plates, top and bottom entrance hatches and interior surfaces that are coated with NSF-approved Tnemec lining. Inside each tank, Maris Media filters the ferric iron and other contaminants from the water and produces a high-quality drinking water for LCWA customers.

Maris Media, a media developed by Artesian, is used for reducing arsenic, iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide from water supplies. Since final development four years ago, Maris Media has been accepted as the media of choice for numerous water treatment plants constructed in the Midwest. To make this LCWA operation successful, Artesian designed and constructed custom controls to operate the processing of the water treatment plant and ensure high water quality for the communities at the lowest cost.

The building houses a chemical feed room that provides pre- and post-chlorination to ensure safe drinking water. An 18,500-gal pressurized detention tank sits in-line prior to the iron filters to ensure the process of separating the iron from the water molecules so Maris Media can filter it out. Unique to this plant, sitting next to the contact tank, is a 20,000-gal iron filter backwash/decant holding tank. The backwash waste generated from the potable water filters could not be discharged through the normal process because the sensitive Huron River water basin had to be protected from any type of contamination.

Zero Wastewater

Knowing this requirement, Artesian engineered a system whereby zero wastewater is discharged from the newly constructed treatment plant. Artesian plans to implement this process throughout the Midwest in an effort to save America’s waterways from contamination normally associated with potable water process plants.

LCWA has taken the necessary steps to provide its communities with quality drinking water and has planned for the future by building a water treatment plant that can be expanded to meet future drinking water needs of its growing communities.

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