June 11, 2014 7:36 pm
Updated: June 12, 2014 2:22 am

New ultraviolet water treatment facility opens in Coquitlam


WATCH: A new multi-million dollar water treatment facility using UV disinfection technology officially opens in the Coquitlam watershed. Jas Johal reports.

A new state-of-the-art water treatment facility has been officially unveiled in Coquitlam today.

The Coquitlam watershed treatment facility provides approximately 370 million liters of water a day, a third of the total water supply delivered in Metro Vancouver.

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In 2000, the facility used the process of ozonation as the primary disinfectant, but the new UV disinfection facility will now complement the existing ozone and chlorination processes.

Stewart Ternent, a water treatment technical operator with Metro Vancouver, says the water comes up through the UV light units, goes back down through the floor meter and goes back into the underground piping.

As water flows through the units, ultraviolet light emitted from the UV lamps passes through the water, inactivating the micro organisms.

“We use a wavelength of 254 nanometers, which is the perfect wavelength to disinfect the water,” says Ternent. “The DNA or microorganisms in the water is affected so they cannot reproduce anymore.”

He says UV radiation does not change the taste or colour of the water.

However, chlorine will continue to be used as a secondary disinfectant to prevent bacterial regrowth in the water distribution system.

Construction of the new facility started in spring 2011, and the technology cost under 100 million dollars to put in place.


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