Granulated Activated Carbon Filter Installation Underway at Flint’s Water Treatment Plant, Expected to be Completed by Mid-July

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Installation of the Granulated Carbon filter media (GAC) is underway at Flint’s Water Treatment Plant. The first phase of the new filter media will be installed and operational within a couple of weeks. The GAC filter media will immediately begin greatly reducing the amount of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in the water which is expected to significantly reduce the formation of total trihalomethanes (TTHM).

Bags of sand which will serve as the bed for the granulated activated carbon (GAC) wait to be loaded into the filter.

Bags of sand which will serve as the bed for the granulated activated carbon (GAC) wait to be loaded into the filter.

The City of Flint and LAN Engineering designed the plan for installing the GAC and work was coordinated with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Installation of the GAC was a key recommendation by water service firm Veolia North America for addressing the issue of TTHM. The cost of the filters is approximately $1.6 million.

One of the plant's twelve filters, emptied and awaiting the new sand and granulated activated carbon media.

One of the plant’s twelve filters, emptied and awaiting the new sand and granulated activated carbon media.

Recent testing has shown that Flint’s water is meeting all regulatory safety standards, with TTHM levels being significantly below the maximum level accepted. Flint has been under the that level at all eight sampling sites during the last two quarters of testing, however a violation notice was required to be sent at the beginning of this month due to the average being high at one site from levels experienced in 2014.

One of the plant's twelve filters in full operation.

One of the plant’s twelve filters in full operation.

TTHM is the colorless, odorless byproduct gas created by the reaction between TOC and the chlorine used for disinfecting water during treatment. By drastically reducing the amount of TOC in the water through the GAC, the formation of TTHM is expected to be reduced. Installation of the GAC is one of many improvements to the water system which are call for in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan.

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Kristin Moore

About the Author:

Kristin Moore is the Public Information/Communications Director for the City of Flint. She spent years working as a TV news reporter and anchor in and outside of Michigan. A Flint native, Kristin is excited to now be part of the team working to move Flint forward!
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