Town of West Springfield
Successful Installation of Reliable, Operator-Friendly Constant Chlor® MC4 Disinfection System
The Town of West Springfield Massachusetts was using gas chlorine to disinfect their water. Also called the “West Side,” the town sits on the western shore of the Connecticut River, with a population of just over 28,000.
West Springfield’s Public Works Department Water Division provides its customers with approximately 3.5 million gallons of potable water per day. It’s gas chlorination system was difficult to work with, and required operators to handle the hazardous gas, including frequent change-outs of 150-pound chlorine cylinders.
Time and costs for specialized training and repair equipment were excessive. In addition, the system was unreliable, leading to several alarms and repairs each month.
Public works officials began looking for a cost effective, operator-friendly, and reliable replacement system that would meet regulatory approvals.
Compared to the gas chlorination system, the Constant Chlor Plus feeder provided a more consistent chlorination profile with fewer chlorination spikes.
A More Consistent Solution To Replace Chlorine Gas
West Springfield initially looked at sodium hypochlorite as a solution, but had no room or budget for buildings, storage tanks and spill containment. Also, the town was concerned about how much strength the product lost over time.
West Springfield’s Deputy Director of Water, Jeffrey Auer, contacted Sigura about their Constant Chlor® products. Constant Chlor® MC4-Series Systems use calcium hypochlorite briquettes with spray technology to create a stable chlorine disinfectant. Steve Roach, from Wescor Associates, Inc., Sigura’s manufacturer representative, spearheaded a pilot project at West Springfield’s facilities.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection required a minimum 10-day pilot study to approve the system for use. West Springfield submitted a 30-day study and continued the
The state approved the equipment design and product, and the project moved forward. Steve and Sigura associates worked closely with the plant operators, and an engineer, to design and implement the system. Jeffrey Auer gives credit to his staff and the Sigura team for working together. “They listened to us and made changes to make the system better—and that’s the key.”
West Springfield’s employees completed most of the construction in- house, with help from Wescor, and electrical and piping contractors. Due to its small footprint, the Constant Chlor® System was retrofitted within the existing
West Springfield’s primary water source consists of wells located four miles away in neighboring Southwick. Pumps send well water through 12 granular activated carbon vessels to remove impurities. The water is then chlorinated for disinfection prior to distribution.
In case of emergency or during periods of high demand, West Springfield may use two connections with the City of Springfield. The transition to Constant Chlor® was almost immediate through the use of a temporary piping configuration while the permanent system was being completed.
The spray technology controls the solution strength. The positive displacement dosing pump reacts to the analog signal, along with a stable solution strength. Together they provide consistent results.
The system can maintain a constant chlorine residual of nearly 0.8 parts per million. And in response to a large water break, operators can bring the dosage up to emergency levels.
Reducing Repair Calls
By Ninety Percent
In addition, the systems equipment is extremely reliable. As Jeffrey Auer noted, “Any chemical system requires monitoring, and with the new calcium hypochlorite system, we do a check-and-cleaning, which takes three to four hours, about once a month. It’s worth the effort. It’s a fantastic system, and we all agree that we like it.”
Compared with the chlorine gas system, which required more frequent replacement of equipment, we find the Constant Chlor® System has reduced the number of annual repair calls by around ninety percent.
Town of West Springfield switched from gas chlorination to the reliability of a Constant Chlor® MC4-150 Feeder.
West Springfield has a small group of staff, so they especially appreciate the easy-to-operate Constant Chlor® System. Because the operators were involved in system design and construction, they know exactly how it works and have pride of ownership.
Operators no longer have to handle one hundred fifty pound chlorine gas cylinders. Now they work with a dry product, where up to eight fifty pound pails of Constant Chlor® briquettes can be transported without any special DOT handling procedures or licenses (without any other DOT regulated material). Constant Chlor® briquettes have a longer shelf life than chlorine gas, so the operators can keep extra stock for emergencies.
Sigura’s team provided startup and training for the operators as well. Jeffrey Auer has been very pleased with the ongoing service from the Sigura team. “They were always trying to make the system better. They even provided an upgrade model at no cost -they were invested in making the system work, and we were too. Steve Roach and the whole crew would help us out if there was a technical problem.”
The Town of West Springfield now has a dependable disinfection system that is easy to operate and maintain. Per Jeffrey Auer, “It’s a lot more reliable than it was before… I don’t hear the operators complaining about working with this system as much as it had been in the past.”