City of Fairmont Water Filtration Plant
On July 19 2003, The City of Fairmont Water Filtration plant became the largest ultra membrane water treatment plant east of the Mississippi. This "zeeweed” process technology produces high quality treated water by drawing raw water through immersed hollow fiber membrane modules that have nominal and absolute pore size of 0.035 and 0.1 microns respectively. This ensures that particulate matter greater than 1 micron in size, including Giardia Cysts and Cryptosporidium oocycts, cannot enter the treated drinking water.
At this time the plant can produce a maximum of 10 million gallons per day (MGD) using 4 zeeweed trains. This capacity can be immediately increased to 12 MGD, and eventually upgraded to 15 million gallons per day.
A programmable logic controller automates the operation of the process.
The flow of treated water through the system is regulated according to
the water level in the clear wells. The level in the clear wells are
measured by a pressure-sending unit and the flow rate from the permeate
pumps are adjusted using variable frequency drive units to match the
water demand from the distribution system. The treated water flows from
each zeeweed process tank membrane compartment through the membrane
modules assisted by the VFD-controlled permeate pumps that generate a
low pressure vacuum that draws the permeate "treated water" through the
If the water level in the clear wells decreases,
the pump capacities increase. And conversely if the water levels in the
clear wells increase, the pump capacities decrease.
About the Plant
The City of Fairmont’s new 10.0 MGD water treatment facility at Morris
Park along Pleasant Valley Road is a new state-of-the-art facility,
which features immersed ultra filtration membrane technology. The new
plant was constructed adjacent to the existing treatment plant, of which
portions are in excess of 100 years old. Membrane technology provides
nearly a 100% barrier against waterborne pathogens, including
cryptosporidium, and it produces high quality, aesthetically pleasing,
safe drinking water.
The new plant has immediate expansion
capabilities to 12.0 MGD, and an ultimate expansion capacity of 15.0 MGD
with the installations of additional membrane units. The immersed
membrane operates under a low negative pressure (vacuum) system in an
open tank design. This facility is one of the largest immersed membrane
potable water treatment plants in the United States.
treatment units for the new plant are contained under roof in a 2-story
concrete and split-faced masonry structure with a standing seam metal
roof. The new plant is being constructed within the footprint of the
existing in-ground clearwell which was recently replaced with a new 1.5
MG precast and pre-stressed concrete tank constructed adjacent to the
existing 1.5 MG welded steel clearwell tank.
The facility went
on-line on July 16, 2003, by Michel, Inc., Bridgeport WV at a cost of
$5,929,000. The city prepurchased the membrane equipment form Zenon
Environmental Systems, Inc. at a cost of $4,129,377, which includes a
10-year membrane replacement program. Natgun Corporation constructed the
new clearwell at a cost of $887,400. The new plant and clearwell were
part of the city’s $24 million water system improvement project, which
initially began construction in late 1999. Construction of over 12 miles
of 16” and 12” water transmission mains from the new plant to the
northeast and southern portions of the system was part of the