Keeping It Crystal Clear

Investing to Protect Our Most Precious Resource

  Gallons of Water
Average Daily Flow

Delivering fresh water to Holland residents and businesses was the BPW’s first utility service offering in 1885. In the 130 years since, we’ve continued to invest in maintaining the highest standards for clean water for businesses and residents in our community. Today, we serve the community through the Holland Water Treatment Plant (WTP), which looks out over Tunnel Park on Lakeshore Drive. The plant treated an average of over 11.2 million gallons/day last year and has maintained a perfect quality track record since it went into service in 1957. The WTP operates with a combination of new equipment and some aging components that need periodic replacement. In FY2015, we made three main updates:

Valve Replacements

After our plant’s rapid sand filters (which each can treat 3.9 million gallons/day) remove any final impurities from water, it flows through high-volume valves into a central pipe gallery where a network of pipes transports it to pumps for storage or distribution. Some of the valves controlling the outflow of water have been in place since 1957. They were beginning to leak and maintenance was difficult, running up annual upkeep costs. We replaced all the valves on our first six filters (there are 10 total) to ensure maximum performance.

Asbestos Abatement

The first four filters at the WTP were installed in 1957. That means the insulating coatings around their outflow pipes contained asbestos, which was still in common use at the time. It was important to remove these coatings before they could break down. Working with expert, licensed abatement contractors, we carefully removed the coatings, cleaning and preparing the pipe exteriors for painting in fall of 2015. The health and safety of our employees are top priorities for HBPW, and these updates are consistent with purposeful safety planning that has kept the WTP without a recordable injury for over 11 years.

Turbidimeter Upgrades

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water created by solid particles in the mixture, and it’s one of the key measures we use to test the clarity of water at various stages in the treatment process. We installed 15 replacement turbidimeters around the plant in 2015 to save on energy and maintenance while increasing the accuracy of measurements. Combined with a new data management software package, this increased quality of data helps us analyze and optimize our treatment strategies and chemical usage.

We understand that water quality and reliability are critical to the success and health of the Holland community. To find out more about our commitment to water quality, and to learn how the treatment facility works, be sure to read our 2015 Water Quality Report.

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