Barry’s Water Treatment Tour


Have you ever wondered where the water comes
from when you turn on the tap? Hi, my name is Barry, and today, I’m going to show you
how water gets treated. The journey begins here, at Lake Ontario. An intake pipe, big enough to drive a car
through, extends two kilometres offshore and lies at the bottom of the lake Ontario – 10
metres deep. The end of this pipe is covered by a screen that prevents large debris from
entering the Water Treatment Facility. Let’s go there now. . . We’re now at the facility and I’m going to show you each step of the water treatment process. Here the raw water first enters the
facility. Every day we can process up to 820 million litres of water. That could fill up to 330 Olympic sized swimming pools. Once inside the facility the water flows through these traveling screens where a copper mesh prevents smaller items like fish and plant life from entering. At the Lakeview Water Treatment Facility,
we turn oxygen into ozone . But first, we have to get the oxygen to our
facility. The easiest way to transport oxygen is in liquid form, and once it’s here, we
keep it cool in these tanks which is why ice forms, even on a summer day
like today. We then transport the oxygen into our facility where it’s converted into
ozone. Let’s take a look. This is the ozone generator room. Inside this
generator, an electrical current is passed through ther liquid oxygen and converts it into ozone gas. Next, we diffuse the ozone into the water
as tiny bubbles. This is a part of the disinfection process. The ozonated water remains in large concrete
contact tanks for 30 minutes before we add sodium bisulphate to quench or remove the ozone before the water goes on to the next step. This makes up the first step of the disinfection
process. We’ll now look at the next step in water treatment. The disinfected water flows from the ozone
contactors, to the Biologically Activated Carbon Contactor. Here, the water flows in from the top and filters down through small pieces
of carbon that have been heat treated and resemble the carbon in a home water filter. Harmless bacteria live in the crevices of
these tiny carbon pieces. These bacteria consume the organic material broken up by the disinfection
process. This step helps remove alot of the bad taste and odour from the water. These tanks are 5 meters deep, with over 3
meters of biologically activated carbon at the bottom. Every 5-7 days these tanks are backwashed. Clean air and water are forced backwards through the system, to break up
and flush out anything that’s stuck in the carbon. Next we’ll look at the ultra-filtration membrane process. The water flows from the Biologically Activated
Carbon Contactor to a series of filter membrane units. The units are made up of tiny
membrane fibres, like this . This is a model of a membrane fiber. A fibre is a tiny tube with millions of
microscopic holes on the outside. We draw the water into the tube
using vacuum pressure. The holes are so small that only water can pass through and pathogens, bacteria and particles are left outside on the outside. To filter the water on a large scale we have
12 membrane trains, and each hold 55 thousand litres of water. Each train has 672 modules,
that equals over 282 million membrane fibres. We lifted the cassette from the train. Now we can see the fibres are grouped into modules. Each modules is made up of
about 35,000 fibres. Now the water is clean and almost ready
for distribution. This blue pipe collects clean water from the
membrane trains. Before the water heads out to the reservoir, we add a small amount of chlorine to keep it clean. We also add a a small amount of fluoride to help promote dental health. As we prepare the water to leave the facility,
we constantly monitor its quality to ensure that it meets the Ministry of the Environment’s
stringent water quality standards. We also test the water manually four times a day for
over a hundred parameters. And back here in the control room, our operators
monitor the entire facility and each stage of the water treatment process. For example, they control the backwashing
that we saw in the Biologically Activated Carbon Contactor gallery. They ensure the membrane trains are functioning properly, and they determine chemical dosages, such as ozone. The blue pipes from the facility carry the
clean water to an underground reservoir. Reservoirs are huge storage tanks for water and are located all around Peel region. Pumping stations push the water out into a
network of underground water mains that connect to your tap. Water treatment is a complicated process.
It takes up to 4 days from the time the water leaves Lake Ontario until it reaches your
tap. And it’s ready to drink. For more information about water contact the
region of peel at nine oh five seven nine one seven eight zero zero or online at w w
w dot peel region dot c a

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