The town of Stellarton is going to be replacing $120,000 of membrane modules used in its water treatment facility.
“Some of the modules have reached the end of their effective life and it’s necessary to replace 120 modules, Town Engineer Tony Addis explained.
He said the replacement was included in the three-year-capital budget for the water utility with $60,000 allowed in the 2014/15 budget and $120,000 allowed in the 2015/16 budget. He requested those amounts be switched so that the $120,000 amount could be used to fund the modules in the next fiscal year.
The modules take around 24 weeks to come in after their ordered, so with council’s approval which was given, they will arrive around April.
Asked in council, by councilor George Megeney if this was the first replacement, Addis said that modules had to replaced after the first commission attempt failed, but it’s the first time since the facility has been properly working which was in 2008.
“I was anticipating we might get 10 years out of them,” Megeny said. “They do have a warranty which is a prorated warranty over 10 years so we should get some benefit of the warranty.”
He said the membranes will be tested for why they failed and then the warranty allowance would be determined.
Councilor Judith MacLellan asked about why the membranes would have failed sooner.
“The coagulant when it was not optimized was causing bad fouling of the membranes which I think has contributed to the life being shorter than if we had optimized coagulation,” Addis explained. “I had to give it considerable thought whether to replace the 120 modles prior to optimization of the coagulation but to be honest with you I don’t think we should delay because we’re not going to get the new modules for another six months. I think if we left it any longer, we could be having difficulty supplying the necessary amount of water for the town.”
He does believe the new modules will be better than the previous ones.
“The new modules we’ll be getting are an upgraded and, I’m hoping, a better set of membranes,” Addis said. “They’ve obviously been continuing to do their research for development. They’ve got better materials and better methods for making these now so hopefully they’ll get more life out of the replacement modules than these ones.”