Sunday, November 23, 2008

Water Treatment Plant News

Every job, as well as water treatment, has its problems. From time to time we all have hard days and we all have these little issues that are unique to our specific plant. Today I came across a story in the New York Times about a problem with NYC water system. It's the description of the fix that is being attempted that is boggling my mind.

First the problem, half of New York City's water supply is from a reservoir that is fed from a tunnel that is transporting water from the Catskill Mountains. By the way, that's a lot to deal with in the first place.

What is worse is this tunnel is leaking at a rate of about 20 million gallons a day and sometimes up to 36 million gallons a day. WOW

Now the Fix, with a starting cost of $240 million. From the way it reads this is just the cost to prep the tunnel for repair. To fix the tunnel it has to get isolated by a valve 700 feet deep. To do this divers have to work around the clock in 12 hour shifts for a month to work on the valve. Again, hard enough on its own. The real tricky part to me is that this whole time the divers have to live in a pressurized tank with an atmosphere of 97.5% Helium and 2.5% Oxygen.

Can you imagine sitting across the table from the guy pitching you this plan!
For more follow the link to The New York Times story: