Eastsound Water has recently achieved a State of Washington Water Treatment FIRST.

During the period of Sept 11–13 Eastsound Water underwent an extensive review of our Purdue treatment plan by contractors for both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State Department of Health. Eastsound Water volunteered for this “Comprehensive Performance Evaluation”. The evaluation was designed to examine “design, administration, operations, and maintenance” of the system. Over 100 hours of staff time went into this evaluation process, which Eastsound Water staff welcomed as a learning opportunity. Eastsound Water’s review team was the same folks EPA called in to evaluate what went wrong with the Flint Michigan water treatment crisis.

In total 50 “performance limiting factors” we examined and scored as having MAJOR EFFECT, MODERATE EFFECT or MINOR EFFECT. Eastsound Water was found to have NO PERFORMANCE LIMITING FACTORS. Derek Pehl, the Assistant Director at the State Department of Health and Regional Engineer Steve Deem both have reached out to say that in decades of sponsoring the “Comprehensive Performance Review” (CPE) program that Eastsound Water is the first ever with NO PERFORMANCE LIMITING FACTORS!

The CPE process included the following:

  • 1-hour individual interviews with each staff member and a board member.
  • Review of 3 years’ worth of Purdue Treatment plant monitoring data.
  • Review of Eastsound Water financial data.
  • Inspection of the water treatment process, and each piece of equipment from the source to the first customer.
  • Extensive testing of the water treatment plant’s filter performance.
  • Examination of the accuracy of all data collection instruments.
  • Review of all standard operating procedures, and operation manuals.

Other quotes from the final report submitted to staff and Eastsound Water Board included;

  • “Data presented was fully complete, confirmed accurate and deemed viable.”
  • “Raw water quality was currently ideal”. (Raw water is the water coming into the treatment plant from the lake. This means the watershed is well protected, and the lake has very few contaminants).
  • “Chlorine disinfection contact time is being met 100% of the time”. (All water is fully disinfected in all circumstances)“ The treatment plant filter media is clearly being well cleaned and maintained. Filter media volume and stratification were found to be as per the original design.” (Plant is 35 years old)
  • “The length of the filter backwash process was perfect.” (Backwash fully cleaned the filter media but used no more water than needed) The performance assessment data and information gathered during this evaluation process indicated that the plant is optimized and very well managed, maintained, and operated.”
  • “The Purdue Plant is well managed. Performance measures, including the WA DOH Treatment Plant Optimization Goals, have been adopted, strived for and consistently achieved.”
  • “The Eastsound Staff is unusually talented and technically competent. Management is committed to devoting man hours to efforts to improve efficiency results, public health protection, and water conservation.”
  • “The General Manager has everyone working as a team to provide high levels of service and continuous improvement.”
  • “The Eastsound Water treatment plant was determined to be “FULLY OPTIMIZED.”

The evaluators used the phrase “the clearer the water is, the safer it is”. The “cleanliness” of water is measured by a turbidity analyzer which sends a highly calibrated beam of light through a water sample and measures to the clarity of the water. Even invisible particles in the water reflect some of the light, and a light sensor measures how much light is lost through the water sample. The “turbidity” (water clarity) is measured in NTU’s (Nephelometric Turbidity Units)

The Maximum allowable potable water turbidity is 1.0 NTU. Eastsound Water has committed to ever exceeding 0.3 NTU (33% of the state standard). This review has found that over the past 5 years Eastsound Water has not exceeded 0.1 NTU, which is only 10% of the allowable limit. Commonly Eastsound’s Purdue Treatment Plant is producing water in the 0.02 to 0.03 NTU range, only 2–3% of the State’s allowable limit. Again, “the clearer the water is, the safer it is.”

The full CPE Report from Sleeping Giant Consultants and more information on this process is available here: EastsoundCPEReport2017Final

Below are your awesome Eastsound Water Operators.