As Cities Struggle With Water Shortages and Contamination, Roanoke Employs Low Cost, Emergency Solution
Pall Corp. announced that its new Septra CB (Crypto Barrier) membrane water filtration system is being used to provide 3.5 to 4 million more gallons of drinking water a day to drought stricken Roanoke, Va.
Crystal Spring, the City's second largest water resource, had been out of service since May 2000, because it was under the influence of surface water. The Pall Septra CB filtration system exceeds federally mandated standards for the removal of protozoan cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium from surface waters. The system was fully operational less than three weeks after the order was placed.
The City of Roanoke's main water source, Carvin's Cove Reservoir, is currently at 30% of its capacity, its lowest point in 55 years. To help conserve water, Roanoke implemented mandatory water restrictions, including a ban on all outdoor watering. Despite these efforts, the water crisis grew and City officials sought alternative sources. According to Roanoke's detailed conservation plan, the Crystal Spring source was not scheduled to be back in service until December 2002. Pall's solution has enabled City officials to bring the Crystal Spring facility back online four months ahead of schedule.
"We're delighted that we could help bring some relief to the residents of Roanoke. This system requires a relatively small investment and can be and up and running in no time," said Tom Poschmann, Vice President of Pall's Water Processing division.
Less then one week after the new system was installed, it is being credited with preventing an order for "stage 5 conservation measures", the City of Roanoke's highest state of water conservation. At stage 5, the City is authorized to ban all water usage except for medical and fire emergencies.
Roanoke is not alone in its water shortage problems. The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a recent study finding that 36% of the contiguous United States is in severe to extreme drought. Among the hardest hit are the Rocky Mountain communities, which are suffering the worst drought conditions in 100 years. Short of a smartly engineered solution, there is little relief in sight. "With the present conditions, water shortages can be expected through October 2002 in many of the areas currently experiencing drought," Poschmann said.