Rain, snow snag Edinburg water filtration

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

EDINBURG — Edinburg officials have resolved a filtration problem at the town’s water treatment plant, according to Mayor Dan Harshman.

Melting snow from January’s winter storm containing dirt and other particles, combined with heavy rain earlier this month, had caused the plant’s filters to backwash, or push water backward to clean the filters, more often than usual, Harshman said.

That slowed the filtration process and reduced the amount of water the town is able to store.

The problem led town officials to ask residents to voluntarily conserve their water use through shorter shower times and fewer uses of dishwashers and washing machines.

The restrictions ended on Tuesday, but officials are still “asking everyone to please be mindful of usage,” according to the town’s Facebook page.

Harshman said the issue worsened in the last two weeks when filters started backwashing every seven minutes instead of every 30 minutes like usual.

“It started when the snow started to melt, but it became a real problem by [Feb. 3],” Harshman said, adding that the town filtered 39,000 gallons of water one day. The normal daily amount is 204,000 gallons.

Harshman said backwashing preserves the clarity of drinking water.

“Turbidity is normally 0.6 [nephelometric turbidity units],” he said. “During these kinds of events, it can go up to 5.6 [NTU].”

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