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Small change makes big difference for GI wastewater plant

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 9:41 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A small change at Grand Island’s wastewater treatment plant is potentially going to save the city a ton of money over time. The city council set a maximum temperature for companies to discharge their water following the request of GI engineers.

For years water was roughly 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which had been working fine. Recently one company has started to discharge at much higher temperature, which can cause damage to their pipes and even cut the life of them in half if it happens too often.

“The general rule of thumb there is that every 18 degrees in Fahrenheit something goes up in temperature, you cut its life in half,” Dr. Jon Menough, engineer at the plant, told Local4 News. “So if you go up from 70 degrees to 90 degrees, if you had a ten year life to begin with, you now have a five year life.”

Dr. Menough said he thinks they caught it in time and hopes this change can prevent any further damage.

“We are concerned about the life of the seals and the pumps and what that would mean to the system,” he said. “We can’t afford and the people of the city can’t afford for us to have crews out there replacing the pumps every few months.”

He said it would be a simple fix for people who are discharging at a too high temperature.

“I can think of a design of a tank that can be used that would just through air passing through a tank with some openings and holes going through, you can cool the water down rapidly,” Dr. Menough said. “It wouldn’t be a big problem.”

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