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Park City Water Quality Manager Receives Award From Peers

Park City Municipal

The recent news for Park City’s Water Department includes their multi-million-dollar project to address the mine-tunnel water supply. Also, a Water Quality Manager with the city received an award from her peers.

The Park City council recently approved $11 million in water projects to treat the water coming out of the Spiro and Judge Tunnels. That tab for the city could ultimately be tens of millions.

The city’s Public Utilities Manager, Clint McAfee, said the project is less costly, since an agreement with the state allows them to address the drinking-water requirements, and not, in addition, federal requirements for stream water.

“We think this is a good investment.” McAfee explained, “we’ve minimized the cost through negations with the state and really whittled down the costs to what it would cost if we were treating it for drinking water only. So, we’ve kind of shed that additional burden for the stream water quality but that’s said it’s still very expensive. The technology that we’ll be implementing to treat this water will produce a product that it’s going to be almost perfect water. The last step in this is to get antimony out of the water. In order to do that you have to take everything else out to get down to antimony. So when water leaves this door and gets pumped into our distribution system it really will be the best water quality in our entire system.”

Meanwhile, Water Manager Michelle De Haan was recently honored with the “Emerald Erlenmeyer Award” from the American Water Works Association. (Erlenmeye is a type of laboratory flask.) DeHaan said she got the honor for her work in drinking water research.

“So, I’ve been involved in a lot of different committees and boards within the agency.” De Haan continued, “Also, for the last ten years I’ve been leading water research webcasts for the industry and international symposiums. I’ve also been the chair for many committees and a trustee for the last six years. I’ve had great opportunities to work with a lot of different scientists and water systems and manufacturers of different equipment in treatment technology specifically. So, I’ve done a lot of work with water distribution systems and water quality in water distribution systems. I’ve also done a lot of work on removal of inorganic contaminants in drinking water.”

She said her work certainly relates to the city’s mine-tunnel water.

“Including things like what we have in our tunnel water so Iron and Manganese and things like Arsenic and Thallium and Antimony.” De Haan said, “Some of the work we did early on for the Three Kings Water Treatment Plant project were to have a full-scale pilot plant in the laboratory at the plant so that we could understand how to remove these contaminants very well with our water specifically. Actually, we’re doing some cutting-edge work that other water systems have never had to deal with because it’s not very common that we have these types of sore supplies in the water industry. That work has really allowed us to do a lot of presenting nationally on what we’re doing in Park City for containment removal, like for Thallium which has been well understood in the industry.”

Finally, work is progressing on the city’s water-line repair project at Heber and Main, following the line break there earlier this fall. McAfee said there have been challenges and delays due to the water and sewer infrastructure.

“The tie-ins to the existing water system have been complicated.” McAfee explained, “It’s old infrastructure and you first have to find it and then kind of figure out how to connect to it while keeping as many businesses in water services as possible. That’s what delayed us a little bit. The other delay was the addition of the sewer manhole. We started the project we reached out to other utilities. The sewer district identified a manhole that was a high priority for them. That put us back about a week due to its depth and location. We went ahead and did that just to minimize any future impact. So hopefully if there’s any digging in that intersection in the next several decades it’s not us.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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