This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A bit more about the water treatment plant

Below are a few more pictures from the Water Treatment Plant open house from last week. The white building between the old pump house #1 and the water treatment plant was built in 1958 and may have been the first water treatment plant. The large concrete structure by the river may have been part of this plant--it does not seem to do anything now. It is interesting seeing the names of the people involved back then.
I had not noticed this plaque before because it was in the fenced area around the facility and not normally a place where the public would go. There was also a plaque on the new building, but I was told that it had been removed during renovation. It will be put back up sometime. I wonder if it will be located in a place so that no one will ever see it.

With the many pumps that the water treatment plant has, there are electrical lines running everywhere. Because it is an industrial facility, there is no attempt to hide them.
 Below is another view of the pipes and the water softeners. Not all the water that comes out of your tap goes through the softeners. Water that is completely softened (with all the calcium and magnesium salts taken out) is corrosive, so before the water leaves the plant, the softened water is blended with a bit of the filtered but unsoftened water.
 The biggest challenge in renovating the water treatment plant was keeping it operating while the changes were made. There was about one month during which the water softening was shut down., but otherwise treatment continued throughout the construction.

One of the control panels shows the daily statistics. You can see how much water has passed through the plant, how much each of the two water wells that Rensselaer uses has pumped, and how much water has been softened. I do not know why the totals of softened plus blended do not equal the finished.
 The old wells out on Bunkum are disconnected from the water system. The pump house that is west of the water treatment plant can still pump water, but the water contains an unwanted chemical.

A final picture--the pit. When the water filters are cleaned, the water that is run through them to clean them is dumped into a pit at the east end of the building.
The civic calendars will be mostly empty for the next month because people will be traveling. As a result of the empty calendars and real winter this year, blogging will be light for the next month.

One other thing of note--the Rensselaer Republican reported that I-65 will be widened to six lanes in the Lafayette area. Every time I drive by Lafayette on I-65 I mutter to myself that the road should be three lanes in each direction. Apparently lots of other people think the same thing as they drive that stretch of road.

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