GREAT FALLS – The City of Great Falls Water Treatment Plant treats water from the Missouri River on a day-to-day basis.
The water is taken out of the river to a screening process, chemicals are then added to disinfect and take dirt out of the water and it then goes through a filtration process.
Recently, the plant has been facing a variety of issues.
One of these issues being that cryptosporidium was found in the water from the Missouri River.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite with a shell that chlorine will not penetrate through. They are unsure of where exactly the cryptosporidium came from.
To meet requirements, the plant worked together with the state to come up with a way to get rid of this problem.
It came to conclusion that the most cost effective way to get the cryptosporidium out of the water was to install at UV system, which penetrates the shell of cryptosporidium and kills the virus.
The UV system construction addition project cost approximately 25 million dollars and will now pave the way for other communities in Montana to design and implement large-scale UV disinfection technology.
The Great Falls Water Treatment Plant Manager, Wayne Lovelis, said they are doing all they can so they’ll be able to keep the plant up and running the next 100 years.
Lovelis said it’s a possibility the new UV system could bring in more employees, “This large scale is new to us too, so it might on the maintenance side of it.”
TD&H Engineering received the ACEC-Montana Grand Project Award for their work on the Great Falls Water Treatment Plant.
The UV system construction is set to be completely finished by the end of the year.
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News