Regional water system planning $13 million upgrade to combat algae

The water system that serves 200,000 customers in Anderson and Pickens counties is embarking on a $13 million project in hopes of reversing algae-related odor and taste problems that have plagued the region’s drinking water in recent years. The Anderson Joint Regional Water System is creating an advanced oxidation system that will attack the organic chemical MIB and also geosmin, the two algae-produced compounds responsible for the earthy taste and unpleasant smell in the drinking water. In simplest terms, the oxidation system will consist of a large concrete chamber, a collection of tanks containing liquid oxygen and a series of piping. The oxidation system will work directly on the raw water that is pulled from Lake Hartwell, attacking the offending compounds in a process that lasts 15 minutes before the water continues its usual treatment journey through the remainder of the existing plant.

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