SUEZ Delaware is beefing up its water storage capacity with a $17 million investment at its Stanton Water Treatment Plant that includes more energy-efficient pumps.
“Delivering a reliable, safe water supply is a responsibility that we take very seriously,” said Larry Finnicum, director of SUEZ Delaware Operations. “This investment to improve our water treatment plant fortifies our commitment to the uninterrupted delivery of high-quality drinking water, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Upon completion of the project, expected by year’s end, the company will have five times the current amount of storage of treated drinking water at its Stanton campus. In addition to improving the reliability of service, additional storage enhances water quality – maximizing disinfection time for water that is distributed to customer homes through 540 miles of piping.
Ground storage tanks:
- 2 tanks, each with two million gallon storage capacity
- Each tank is 45 feet high and 200 feet in diameter
- Combined, the tanks are constructed with 8000 tons of cement
- Together they hold 25 tons of water
New Pumping Facility:
- Daily pumping capacity: 24 million gallons
- Total number of pumps: 9
- Annual power consumption reduction: 1.3 million kilowatt hours
High-efficiency pumps are replacing what had been “best of class” pumps when first installed, but are now coming to the end of their useful lives, some having been in operation for a number of decades.
The new “smart” pumps will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1000 metric tons every year, reducing impacts on climate change. “This is the equivalent to taking 200 cars off the road every day,” said Finnicum.
SUEZ North America operates across all 50 states and Canada with 2,825 employees.
SUEZ spokeman said the utility may file for a rate increase later this year after not doing so for three years. He emphasized that the water storage project alone would not be the sole reason for filing for a rate hike.
SUEZ obtains its water via surface supplies. The system results in lower costs than underground pumping of supplies and does not affect aquifers that may not recharge or can be contaminated by chemicals.
However, surface systems are more subject to drought. After dry conditions a few decades ago, SUEZ and municipal water systems have continued to build or add capacity to reservoirs and storage systems, while also encouraging conservation.
SUEZ has also seen the loss of large industrial customers over the years and has pledged to aid the state and county in economic development efforts.