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Treatment Plant News & Updates
Overview
Fernley's fresh water treatment plant will provide the latest technology for ensuring our community's drinking water is safe. The Fernley water treatment plant is currently under construction. Construction of the plant is expected to be completed in July 2009. The water treatment plant is designed to provide quality drinking water to meet our needs of today and the future needs of our growing community.

Removing Arsenic From Our Drinking Water
The City of Fernley’s water treatment plant began construction in October 2007. The water treatment plant is being constructed to bring the City of Fernley into compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) clean water act. The clean water act was revised to include a maximum contaminant level of 10 micrograms per liter for arsenic. The old standard was 50 micrograms per liter. Arsenic is present in the City’s groundwater supply and must be reduced below 10 micrograms per liter prior to distribution to customers.

While the City and the State of Nevada entered into a bilateral compliance agreement that extended the compliance period to July 23, 2009, the plant will take approximately 22 months to construct.

Arsenic Removal Process
The water treatment plant will remove arsenic through a three step process of coagulation, flocculation / sedimentation, and microfiltration. While these words are worthy of the national spelling bee, the process can be simplified in the following steps: 
  1. Raw water will enter the plant and be injected with an iron-based liquid (coagulation), which acts as a magnet for arsenic.
  2. The coagulated water will then be mixed up (flocculation) in one area, and then allowed to settle (sedimentation) in another area.
  3. Any remaining arsenic will be removed when the water is put through filters with very tiny pores (microfiltration).
  4. Any material that will be removed in the process will be sent to ponds, dried, and then shipped to the lockwood landfill.

Location & Improvements
The project is located on a parcel just north and west of the west end of Mesa Drive. The project also includes improvements to Mesa Drive, and will be built to be aesthetically pleasing, including modern architecture, low impact down-facing lights, and substantial landscaping. The project is designed to comply with all laws and safety guidelines, and will be safe to the public. The project is designed to treat arsenic from the current levels, which average 50 parts per billion, to comply with the EPA standard of 10 parts or less per billion.

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