Moline Moving Forward on U.V. Water Treatment Project - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Moving Forward on U.V. Water Treatment Project

Updated: Oct 8, 2013 10:27 PM

The city of Moline is moving forward with plans to add UV disinfection to its water treatment process. It is all about making safe drinking water even safer.

Moline's Water Plant Manager, Dave Owens, says city residents should have no doubt that the water they're drinking is already perfectly fine. The UV reactors that could soon be added are just meant to add an extra level of protection in the water treatment process:

"The water goes through an arrangement of lights, it's disinfected, and continues and goes out into the city," Owens explained.

It would be just one more step in the process all Moline water goes through now.

But, it's a step the city has to take.

A few years ago, the intestinal parasite cryptosporidium was detected in the city's source water in the Mississippi River, and although no illnesses have been reported in Moline related to that, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is requiring the city to add another layer of protection in its water treatment process, to make sure it can never become a problem.

"When we stepped back and we looked at all the options that were presented to us at that time, we felt that UV was going to provide us the best protection with the least amount of risk or expense," Owens said.

At Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting, city leaders voted in favor of allowing the water department to buy the UV reactors.

They also voted in favor of amending the existing engineering contract, adding to the scope of their work by having them sort out how to change out the filter materials while the UV lights are being installed for cost savings, and adding to the total contract amount, because so much of the money set aside for the engineering work was eaten up in years of navigating regulatory red tape.

"The UV lighting is a fairly new technology so to get everything pre-approved and to get things moved through it's taken a lot longer," Owens explained.

The project proposals now move forward for city council to approve. That vote is set for their next regular meeting next week.

If all goes well with the final design process and regulatory approval process that will follow, the UV units could start going in as early as next spring.

Owens says the money is already in the budget for the project and the engineering contract, and won't require residents to pay more.

Also discussed during Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting were a number of different ordinances that would create two TIF districts, one for the Riverbend Commons redevelopment project, and the other for a train station.

City council is set to vote on those on October 22.