Belleair’s water supply has always come from our own wells and its treatment consists of aeration, filtration, sequestration, fluoridation and chlorine disinfection. The Town’s water system has been continually improved upon since the first well was drilled in 1926. As part of a major system upgrade, the water plant was built and put into operation in April of 1968. Since that time, there have been numerous plant upgrades that include changing from a lime-softening process to a direct filtration with aeration process. Seven wells drilled 150 to 275 feet into the Floridian aquifer provide the raw (untreated) water to this 2.2 million gallon-per-day capacity Class “B” treatment plant.
The 7 supply wells are consolidated into a concentrated well field located within the town’s limits where ground water is available in an adequate amount to meet demand. The quality of the well water entering the plant is generally good. However, some treatment is required to ensure that the water delivered to your home or business is both safe to drink and aesthetically pleasing.
All wells enter the treatment plant within a common pipe leading to the aeration / sedimentation tank. Aeration is used to oxidize iron, manganese and sulfides in addition to stripping hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) from the raw water. Chlorine is then added to further oxidize iron, manganese and sulfides. This pre-treated water then flows to the filters to remove solids.
After the aeration and pretreatment units, water goes to the dual-media filters to have suspended particles removed. The water is allowed to percolate (flow downward) through layers of media. After approximately 48 hours of operation, the filters get "dirty" from suspended particles they have trapped. A filter is cleaned by backwashing it with treated water and large volumes of compressed air. A cleaning cycle uses 40,000 gallons of water, which is allowed to flow into a recovery basin.
The pre-treated and filtered raw water then flows into the 100,000 gallon clearwell. Variable speed high service pumps maintain a stable system pressure of 56 psi by pumping water into the distribution system from the clearwell through the 16-inch discharge main.
To prevent bacterial contamination in Belleair's water distribution system, gaseous chlorine is injected from these chlorinators at several points in the treatment process. We are also adding ammonia to the water to disinfect our water with chloramines to reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds such as trihalomethanes (THMs), which result from the combination of chlorine with organic found in the distribution system. The water is also treated with precisely measured amounts of fluoride. Fluoridation has been shown to reduce the incidence in children's tooth decay by over 60 percent and is highly recommended by dentists and government health agencies.
One 500,000 gallon and one 300,000 gallon ground storage reservoirs hold treated water to meet peak demands and emergency situations. The plant is also equipped with a 500 KWH standby unit to generate power in the event of an electrical outage. If needed, this generator can easily enable the plant to pump over half its maximum daily demand for extended periods.
All pumping, treatment, and distribution aspects of the plant operation are computer controlled. The automated systems monitor pressure and flow throughout the plant and service area, making adjustments as necessary. In emergency situations, plant operations personnel can assume manual control.