Port Orchard's Well 9 upgrades, alterations complete

Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes, councilmembers, city staff and employees celebrated the completion of $1 milllion worth of upgrades and alternations to Well 9 with a July 30 ribbon cutting ceremony at Van Zee Park.

Public Works Director Mark Dorsey said the well was built in 2004, but an oversight during construction meant it lacked a distilling basin to draw away hydrogen sulfide gas that created discolored water.

“In the old system, the chlorine was reacting to the hydrogen sulfide to create discolored water,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey said when he joined the city in 2009, he began mapping complaints and calls concerning discolored water from Well 9. The Public Works Department started gathering information from forensic reports and discovered the well had an issue with a hydrogen sulfide gas issue — common in all wells — and manganese, Dorsey said.

“The staff discovered there was manganese level that was finding its way into the pipes that was well below the maximum contamination level,” Dorsey said. “It was never a health issue, but a water quality issue in washing clothes and in sinks.”

He said the hydrogen sulfide gas issue was corrected by the distilling basin.

The distilling basin pulls the water into a holding tank and potassium permanganate is injected into the water to bind with the manganese causing it to harden and fall to the bottom of the holding tank. The sediment is cleaned out periodically from the tank.

Dorsey said all the city wells, except Well 9, has distilling basins.

Public Works worked with PACE Engineers of Kirkland on a $270,000 design for the upgrades and project oversight. Last August, the city awarded I&E Construction of Clackamas, Ore., a $736,000 construction contract.

“We now have good clean water, a $1 million later,” Dorsey said.

Matthes said the city will use “ice pigging” to clean out the lines.

The ice pigging process pumps ice slurry — the pig — into a pipe, filling it to 10 to 20 percent of its volume capacity. System pressure carries the ice downstream to an exit point.

“Pigging” to clean lines is an accepted procedure used by utility pipeline owners. The process is relatively simple: a device (pig) is inserted into a pipe where pressure forces it through the pipe, scraping the inside sidewalls and carrying debris to an exit point out of the pipe.

“We have been doing a lot more aggressive flushing of the lines in the past couple of years that has helped tremendously,” Dorsey said. “We’ll be ice pigging to try and remove the build up that remains on the inside of the lines.”

Dorsey said there are some homes which have long water lines that will continue to collect sediment.

“We have to clean the lines twice a year,” he said.

Matthes, councilmembers and staff toasted the new well upgrades with glasses filled with water from the new well after the ribbon cutting.


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