July 2, 2009

Bellingham Awarded for it's Clean Drinking Water

Adding to it's long list of accomplishments, and reasons why people keep moving to Bellingham, The City of Bellingham Department of Public Works has received a national award from The American Water Works Association (AWWA). The Partnership for Safe Water Directors Award - for ongoing commitment to providing residents and businesses in Bellingham and Whatcom County with excellent drinking water.

Bellingham's Whatcom Falls Water Treatment Plant has had the honor of receiving this award for ten years, an honor achieved by only sixteen water utilities across the country.

Bellingham is constantly working on improving the quality of it's drinking water.

"From things as minor as cleaning out the pipes that carry the backwash water to the wastewater treatment plant, to replacing the controllers that ensure the water flows more evenly through the filters.

More significant improvements include:

  • A streaming current meter that measures the electrical charge in the water. This allows staff to fine-tune the chemical-feed system.
  • Particle-count sensors that look at the size of the particles in the water that pose a potential risk to the public, then backwashing (cleaning) the filters based on particle counts.
  • A flash mixer that does a better job of mixing the coagulant chemicals with the water. This improves filter efficiency, as well as saving money on the chemicals needed for the job.
  • A new coagulant that improves the removal of organic material from the water. This helps reduce disinfection by-products in the distribution system.
  • New baffles in the clearwell that improve how the chlorine mixes with the water, helping to keep the chlorine levels more consistent."

The City of Bellingham Department of Public Works received the Ten-Year Directors Award at the American Water Works Association's Annual Conference & Exposition in San Diego, California.

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