Here is a basic timeline of events and actions taken the evening of May 2 and early morning May 3rd, 2021.
Shortly after 11:00 PM on May 2nd the call out auto dialer notified the on-call operator of low chlorine at the Nitrate Plant. That operator immediately responded to the call out and found the chlorine low (0.02mg/L @ 11:36 PM May 2, 2021). The low chlorine was due to a broken chlorine feed line to the injector. The operator immediately drove to the Koser Rd spring house and shut off the production pumps to the system (12:01 AM May 3, 2021). He then returned to the Nitrate plant to address the low chlorine issue and fix the broken injector line.
At the Nitrate plant the operator opened the hydrant alongside of the driveway and backflushed the water back out of the distribution system. The water was backflushed until the chlorine residual was above the DEP standards. (1.17 mg/L May 3, 2021, 01:30 AM). The Spring’s production pumps remained off till the chlorine injector line could be repaired.
May 3, 2021, 08:53 AM the spring production pumps were turned back on, and the chlorine residual was 1.44 mg/L.
The PA DEP was notified after 08:00 AM on May 3,2021 to inform them of the situation.
In response to the May 2-3, 2021, chlorine event at the Nitrate Plant here is what we have done to correct the problem so events like this does not occur again.
- May 4th, 2021, the existing Auto dialer was removed from the chlorine analyzer and control of alarm notification was established with the SCADA system. We installed and connected the New Verbatim call box we acquired for the SCADA project that is currently ongoing. This was the start of implementing the connection of the Spring and the Nitrate Plant.
- SCADA programming was rewritten to accommodate the old existing Chlorine analyzer data to integrate the Spring and Nitrate Scada PLC’s
- May 14th, 2021, SCADA communication at the Spring and the Nitrate Plant installed/ tested to allow for production pump shut down at the Spring for Low/ High chlorine events.
- Spring Shut down/ Alarms.
- Low chlorine 1.60mg/L Alarm /Call out 1.30 mg/L Pump Shut down /Call out.
- High chlorine 2.90 g/L Alarm /Call out 3.80 mg/L Pump Shut down /Call out.
These listed items were sent to the PA DEP and was approved. For more information, please contact the East Petersburg Borough Water Dept. at 717-569-2321.
Chief Water Operator