Mayor Keith A. James, CWPB Celebrate Launch $24M UV Water Treatment System
Ribbon Cutting Held for Newly Commissioned UV System-- One of the Most Advanced in the Nation—and Related Infrastructure
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (June 6, 2019) -- During a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 6, 2019, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James and the City of West Palm Beach officially commissioned the new, state-of-the-art ultraviolet (UV) treatment system at the City of West Palm Beach Water Treatment Plant (WTP), a surface water plant located at 1009 Banyan Boulevard in the City of West Palm Beach.
Housed within massive pipes inside the water treatment plant, the UV system--the largest in the State of Florida-- will provide 100% redundancy in the disinfection process that is reliable and cost-effective. The new system can treat up to 47-million gallons of water per day, which the City provides daily to more than 120,000 water customers in the City of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach, and Town of South Palm Beach. The facility will add a third layer of protection when combined with the chlorine treatment and filtration the City has provided for many years.
“With the commissioning of the UV system, we now have one of the most advanced water treatment systems in the nation,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “We are pleased to be able to bring this incredible technology and infrastructure, resulting in the highest quality water to the residents of the City of West Palm Beach.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified UV disinfection as an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses and one of the best technologies to inactivate pathogenic microorganisms in drinking water. UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical process. When bacteria, viruses and protozoa are exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light, they are rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting.
“It has been a pleasure working with the City of West Palm to finalize the advanced technology UV treatment system that will provide water to the residents and visitors of our City,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, M.D., Florida Department of Health Executive Director in Palm Beach County. Thank you for joining the Health Department to protect, promote and improve the health of our City.”
As a part of this project, the City also constructed a powdered activated carbon contact basin that will provide exceptional drinking water taste and overall quality through a process that is very efficient for removing naturally occurring taste and odor compounds from the plant’s source water. The powdered activated carbon basin will also serve as an effective barrier against algae in the unlikely event that it is ever present in our source water intake in Clear Lake.
“These upgrades to the treatment plant allow the City to reliably produce water that will be world-class in terms of both aesthetic quality and public health protection,” said Scott Kelly, Assistant City Administrator.
Additionally, a new building was constructed to house the UV system. This structure maintains the Mediterranean revival architectural style of the water treatment plant by incorporating original materials such as barrel tile roofs, textured stucco, and cast stone embellishments. The UV building is designed to preserve the historic character of the plant while incorporating today’s code requirements and the highest efficiency of the plant function, maintenance and operations.
The City began construction on the project in September of 2016. Of note, the WTP was first built by Henry Flagler in 1901. The City of West Palm Beach acquired the water system from Flagler’s successors in the 1950s.