Friday, February 11, 2011


It is very much appreciated that the Citizens of Jerome have been very patient and understanding to the issues that we have been dealing with this past month and a half. Your odor complaints have not been ignored, but definitely noted and this blog is to let you, the individual know what is going on and the progress that is being made at the Jerome Wastewater Treatment Facility. I would like to take this time to let all know that everything is being done to get the Plant back online and processing the wastewater as it was designed to do.

Steps are also being taken to prevent this calcium fouling from being a issue again. Below is a rundown of what has been going on for the past two weeks.

February 11, 2011 Update: These past two weeks we did the extensive chemical cleaning as described above and then for the next week and a half built up the solids concentration. The cleaning lasted longer than just a routine hypochlorite cleaning 16 hour cleaning regiment We are currently out of compliance and overflowing again. Steps taken to expedite the process have been taken as follows.

1. A piece of the fouled membrane has been sent back East to Enviroquip’s chemist and head membrane guru to examine the membrane to see if a different chemical is needed to bring the membranes back to 80-100% capacity.

2. We have also sent samples out to Analytical lab in Boise for examination of what the slime layer is that has plugged up the membranes…………Calcium was the test result.

3. Previously operators took down basin #1 and emptied it completely, and refilled it with clean water. We pulled a membrane and checked them and found that the membranes on the outside were not getting cleaned after we did a complete chemical cleaning. The plan was to take down a basin, soak it in sodium hydroxide and aerate at the same time. This was followed by a acid clean, followed by a strong bleach clean and soak overnight. In our testing phase this cleaning regiment worked great, the membranes were clean, slime was gone and they permeated as if they were new.

4. Jan 28- Feb 11 The above process was started. A clean water chemical clean of the inside and outside of the membrane. We are soaking the membranes in Sodium Hydroxide inside and out, then going to do a hydrochloric acid clean on the inside of the membranes, then do a clean water rinse and then finish it off with a Sodium Hypochlorite clean. This should loosen and clean both the organics as in proteins, and fats, and inorganics such as calcium, scale etc. We have just completed the cleaning of the final basin #4. It will be filled and then brought online. The next step is to continue to build solids to 8000 mg/l in the #1 Aeration Basin. If the solids are not at this concentration the membranes have a greater opportunity of fouling with solids and not operate as designed. Once the membrane Plant can take full flow, we will bring the bio-towers on at full capacity. This will help cut down the incoming loadings. Plant cleanup will then ensue, and we have a lot of stuff to clean up.

The Water Works team has been working very hard figuring out the chemical combination to bring the membranes back to their original capacity. We have completed several chemical cleaning cycles, This is now taking all night and into the next day to do a chemical restoration. With the basins at the maximum flow and levels, this is not an easy feat, but we are continuing non-stop doing what we need to get this Plant back in compliance and operational. DEQ and EPA, and the Northside Canal are aware of our situation and have been kept apprised of our progress.

John Boyd, Water Works Director

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