Currently, the Board of Public Works maintains twelve wells that can deliver up to 1,728,000 gallons of water per day. This water is then ran through state of the art water filter plant that produces high quality, filtered, disinfected and fluoridated water to all Auburn residences. The water system persists to meet all state and federal regulations.
Additionally, the BPW is responsible for the maintenance of 200 fire hydrants, 30.5 miles of water lines, and supplies water services to approximately 1,600 customers. All usage is metered with the exception of fire protection. Water meters are read every month to ensure accuracy and control leaks.
Testing during the summer of 2009 revealed that all of the system wells are directly under the influence of surface water. In simpler format, the system wells and water flows in the Little Nemaha River and groundwater are connected. The community was given 18 months to comply with current requirements of a higher level of filtration and disinfection. The old filtering plant was not capable of meeting the higher treatment standard without major renovation. Also due to years of equipment exposed to chlorine in the old plant this equipment had deteriorated to a point that replacement was the most feasible option.
The new plant is located at the corner of 9th & F Streets. The new plant has a rated capacity of 2,100 gpm, compared to the old plant’s capacity of 1200 gpm, with room for growth to 2,800 gpm. The new plant is a major improvement and will improve our operational efficiencies tremendously. In the past, when we backwash our filters weekly, all of this water was wasted with the old plant, we now are able to recycle this water and reduce waste for a more efficient operation. We wasted over 1,248,000 gallons of water a year due to backwashes.
The new plant utilizes existing clear wells to meet the proper detention time along with constant monitoring of water turbidity and meeting a 4 log (99.99%) inactivation of any water-born virus to ensure proper disinfection of the drinking water. This is part of the requirement of water under the influence of surface water.
The new plant was completed in the spring of 2011 and is a state of the art system that will automatically shut the plant down if any of the requirements are not met. At which time a water operator will be contacted to correct any problem at the plant.