Pierre Pilots New Technology for Water Treatment Facility

The Pierre City Commission has agreed to test three different water filtration technologies before committing to which technology to use in Pierre’s planned water treatment facility.

City Utilities director Brad Palmer says all three options are used at other water treatment facilities along the Missouri River. He says although the Missouri River is a consistent water source, variables such as flow rate, algae content, suspended solids and bacteria differ from location to location. Palmer says they need to study which filtration technology works best for the variables we have in Pierre. He says the pilot studies will put each of the technologies to work for the next two months or so. By the end of the year, the city officials should know which filtration system is best for Pierre.

Collectively, the studies will cost about $100-thousand. That cost was factored into the estimated $37-million project cost the public approved in June. Palmer says in the long run, the studies will save ratepayers money because the most efficient system will be integrated into Pierre’s water treatment facility.

Additionally, the selected technology will impact the design of the water treatment facility. Palmer says the internal mechanics of the water treatment facility will vary based on the technology. He says regardless of which technology is selected, the exterior of the building will integrate well into the surrounding greenspace.

The three water filtration technologies under consideration are poly pressure filtration modules, submerged poly filtration modules, and ceramic membrane modules. All three technologies screen water to remove dissolved solids and other particles before the water is sanitized for consumption.

The poly pressure filtration system uses pressure to force water through the screening devices. The submerged poly filtration system uses a vacuum to draw water through the screen. And the ceramic membrane uses a different type of technology that is less inclined to clog during the screening process. All three provide ultra-filtered water.