Coos Bay's new water treatment plant to undergo tests before opening

(KCBY photo)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The City of Coos Bay will soon open its new water treatment plant.

Part of that included the City's clean water performance training.

They're testing all the equipment, from new computer operating systems to the water clarifying processes.

They're trying to make it fail to make sure it's ready to open.

"Hands on experience with the equipment prior to raw sewage being sent through the plant,” explained assistant project manager Bill Paul. “There is a learning curve and that's what these trainings are for.”

The goal is to throw every scenario at the plant and keep it operating for 30 straight days without a problem.

Some of the upgrades include a more efficient method for the disinfecting process - ultra violet lights.

"As water quality changes, we're not able to change our chlorine dose in time and there for a higher than normal fecal coliform goes out the door. This is set up to keep that from happening."

The plant must keep the fecal coliform level at a safe level.

The UV lights adapt to keep it where it needs to be, which takes away the risk and cost of using chemicals.

Lead operator Gary Higgins finds it impressive, along with other changes he's learning through the training.

"Learning all the additional systems throughout the plant and how to run it,” said Higgins, “it's going to be an on-going learning process even after the 30 days."

With all the changes and upgrades, staff says this 30-day training period is a good chance for operators to learn and to iron out the kinks before it officially opens.

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