Water plants

London Utility Commission water treatment operator Dallas Cox displays a sample of untreated water to show what water treatment facilities are keeping us from drinking.

Two Laurel County water plants recognized by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet for superior performance during 2013.

Laurel County District 2 and the London Utility Commission were among the 61 such facilities statewide to receive recognition, according to a news release.

According to the  release sent out by the governor’s office, the two local treatment plants “consistently produced drinking water in 2013 that exceeded state and federal water quality standards.”

The recognition was well-received locally.

“We’re well pleased,” said Dallas Cox, operator at the water treatment facility for the London Utility Commission. “We strive to produce the best water we can.”

According to Cox, some of the duties the treatment facility performs are meeting water disinfection standards and keeping the ph level of the water balanced. The treatment facility workers use aluminum sulfate to lower the pH level and caustic to raise it.

“You have to keep your chemicals adjusted accordingly,” Cox said. “We’re very fortunate to have Laurel Lake as a source. It’s a very good source of water.”

Cox  went on to say that in his 33 years of working in the business, the lake “... is the best source I’ve ever treated.”

District 2 Superintendent David Hughes, who said this was the first time his plant had received the honor.

“We’ve been striving for this, and plan to continue on with it,” Hughes said.

Hughes gave credit to his five operators, saying “they do an excellent job.” 

The 61 systems are among 149 public and private water treatment plants in the state that participated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). The program is aimed at reducing turbidity levels below those required by state and federal regulations.  

Turbidity is another name for cloudiness of water, which can be caused by sand and dirt, as well as bacteria and viruses. Particle removal helps produce water that is free of dirt and microbes that can cause waterborne diseases.

The 61 plants being recognized collectively served more than 2.3 million Kentuckians.

Laurel County Water District 2 was one of six plants that received special recognition for achieving the optimized microbial water quality goals 100 percent of the time in 2013.


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