Melbourne's Water Supply - Public Works & Utilities - City of Melbourne, Florida

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Melbourne's Drinking Water  
The John A. Buckley Surface Water Treatment Plant can produce 20 million gallons of drinking water per day. The facility also employs an innovative treatment process that makes possible very rapid adjustments to changing source water conditions.  The new treatment process also allows Melbourne to meet evolving state and federal regulations.

Actiflo Water Treatment ProcessA chemical coagulant is added to the raw water as it enters a coagulation tank.  The coagulant destabilizes the suspended solids and with proper mixing early stage floc formation begins.  The coagulated water then flows over a weir into the injection tank where polymer and microsand are added to further enhance floc formation.  Next, the water passes through the underflow passage into the maturation tank where the majority of ballasted floc formation occurs.  After the water leaves the maturation tank, it enters the settling tank where the floc rapidly settles and is removed from the treated water via lamellar settling.  Clarified water exits the system via a series of collection troughs or weirs for subsequent filtration, disinfection and delivery to the distribution network.

Located nearby is the Joe Mullins Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant, which utilizes well water and can produce up to 6.5 million gallons of water per day. The average daily demand on the drinking water system is 15.5 million gallons as water is distributed to Melbourne and most surrounding communities.

Water Source:  Lake Washington
Lake Water Analysis
Ph:  7.6
Alkalinity:  57
Total Hardness:  94
Chlorides:  58
Color:  194
Fluoride:  0.15
TDS:  204
Temperature:  75 degrees Fahrenheit
Distribution Entry Point Analysis
Ph:  8.2
Alkalinity:  34
Total Hardness:  77
Chlorides:  59
Color:  3
Fluoride:  0.81
TDS:  212

Water Hardness Levels

The hardness of the water produced by the City of Melbourne averages 85 mg/L or 5 grains per gallon.  The American Water Works Association has developed a generalized water hardness scale that rates very soft water as between 0 and 25 mg/L, soft water as between 25 and 75 mg/L, moderately hard as between 75 and 150 mg/L, hard water as being between 150 and 300 mg/L, and very hard water as being above 300 mg/L.

The hardness level after softening should not fall below 50 mg/L, or three grains per gallon. To convert milligrams per liter to grains per gallon multiply by 0.06. 

Construction is now complete on the new Lake Washington Surface Water Treatment Plant.Adjusting for Softer Water

If your home water softening system is causing the water to become too soft, leaching of copper pipes in your home plumbing could occur, which would result in sinks and tubs developing a green or blue coloration. 

Those with water softeners should monitor results. Very excessive softening could cause corrosion of your plumbing, which would allow copper to enter your home’s water supply.

Copper is an essential nutrient required by the body in very small amounts, too much copper can potentially cause adverse health effects.   Water delivered by Melbourne contains trace copper amounts that are below the level determined as safe by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

John A. Buckley Surface Water Treatment Plant Specifications

Joe Mullins Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant Specifications

A side view of the new surface water treatment plant. Second Phase

A second phase is set to begin construction in early 2006. The $15.1-million second phase will reduce the use of chlorine for disinfection purposes by using ozonation, with benefits including greater control of taste and odor. This project will not affect water customer rates, since the current rate structure provides funding.

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