Water Infrastructure FAQs
The water department operates and maintains a Class IV A(4) - Four million gallon per day surface water treatment plant. We get our source water from the Ohio River in which the characteristics of treatment can change from minute to minute. We use a conventional surface water treatment method to produce safe, potable drinking water for our community.
Conventional (chemical) treatment of our water uses such chemicals as liquid Alum, Hydrated Lime, Potassium Permagnate, Fluoride, Activated Carbon, and Chlorine. Hourly samples of the before mentioned treatment methods are performed to ensure the quality of water. Following articles will inform you as to what each chemical is used and how we treat the treat the water.
The Kentucky Division of Water classifies water treatment plant by water plant capacity (gallons per day) and population served. We are classified as a Class-VI (4) Surface water plant which is the highest classification of water treatment plants in Kentucky with the most stringent rules imposed.
The Division of Water also regulates who can work at our water plant. They require us to have Class IV A(4) certified operators operating our plant. We are fortunate to have local certified personnel treating your water. All certified operators are required to maintain their certification by attending continuing education hours by Division of Water approved training classes.
The Maysville Utility Commission owns and maintains approximately 75 miles of underground pipe. Our distribution system is considered a Class III (3) system based upon population served. Our Distribution personnel are certified through the Division of Water and obtain certification hours just like our plant operators.
We are constantly testing our distribution system for bacteria, lead, copper, fluoride, chlorine, disinfection by-products, and halo-acetic acids.
Water cannot get to your house without the use of booster pumps to pump water to our reservoir and elevated storage tanks.
We maintain 3 major pump stations in our system in which our operators and personnel check on a daily basis and monitor constantly at our water plant. Without these pump stations, we couldnï¿½t get your water to you.
Each pump station contains a back-up pump in the event the primary pump fails. We try to take every precaution to ensure on outage will not happen.
Producing water is just half of what we do. Storing water in our distribution system is the other half. We have a 2.7 million gallon finished water reservoir in which water is stored for domestic water use and fire protection. We also own and maintain 4 elevated water tanks, which you have probably driven by thousands of times. These tanks are elevated to provide storage and pressure to get the water to your house or business. These tanks are monitored every minute at the water plant to make sure there is enough water for everyone's use.
We paint these tanks every 10 to 15 years to ensure a proper coating on the inside and out to prevent bacterial growth and rust.
Water Treatment FAQs
- Polyaluminum Chloride the chemical compound we use for coagulation at the Water Treatment Plant. This chemical compound has become the coagulant of choice across the United States and the world. Without a coagulant such as this, we would not be able to settle sand, silt, viruses, and any other solids, which are present in the Ohio River. Our operators constantly battle fluctuation in the river turbidity (clarity). This compound works very well at clarifying the water.
- Potassium Permagnate is a chemical compound used to oxidize Iron and Manganese that comes into the water supply from the Ohio River. Iron and Manganese are heavy metals that are potentially harmful to humans if accumulated in the body over a long period of time. Most Surface waters (including the Ohio River) contain small traces of these elements and they must be treated for removal. We use very little Potassium Permagnate because we are not treating to remove large amounts of Iron and Manganese.
- Chlorine is a very important factor in water treatment and in our water distribution system. All water had germs and bacteria in it. Chlorine is added to disinfect the water so it is safe to drink. Too much Chlorine can be harmful or fatal in certain quantities. Our operators check the Chlorine levels every minute as water leaves the plant. Chlorine also plays an important role in our distribution system. Our distribution personnel are constantly monitoring the Chlorine levels so that there is enough to keep everyone safe from harm.
- Activated Carbon is primarily used for removal of tastes and odors from the Ohio River. Tastes and odors can change from time to time depending on the season of the year. During the Spring, surface runoff due to rain typically increases the tastes and odors of the river. In the Fall, decaying leaves and algae changes the taste and odor quality of the river. As you can see, our operators have to be aware of seasonal change as well as operational changes.
- Potassium Permagnate also help with taste and odor removal.
In 1951, Maysville Water Plant was the first plant in Kentucky to add Fluoride to its drinking water supply.