Jump to Navigation

Pilot-plant training for high turbidity

Publication Type:

Journal Article


JOURNAL AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION, Volume 90, Issue 10, p.67-75 (1998)


Sierra Pacific Power Company (SPPC), the major water purveyor in northern Nevada, draws its supply from surface water (75 percent) and groundwater (25 percent). The Truckee River, which provides SPPC surface water, is a dynamic raw water source that can change from a nominal turbidity of 5.0-ntu to >4,000 ntu in as little as 5 hours. To equip its operators with the skills to treat such a variable raw water source, SPPC developed an intensive operator training session. An existing pilot plant was modified to accommodate a delivery system capable of producing a raw water turbidity of 5 ntu to >4,000 ntu in an 8-hour period. SPPC's training program proved its value Jan. 1, 1997, when a major flood transformed the normally calm Truckee River into a turbulent raw water source with extreme turbidity fluctuations. Applying the experience and knowledge from their pilot training, operators were able to successfully treat the varying raw water conditions and continue delivery of a safe water supply to the cities of Reno and Sparks.