Jul 09, 2020

Newport Restores Water to Commercial Users

Newport, Rhode Island restored water to its industrial users after the fouling of membrane filters

commercial water

The city of Newport declared a water emergency because the city could not supply its industrial users with water due to the fouling of membrane filters at the city’s water treatment plant, according to Newport News Times.

As a result, production at fish processing plants on the Bayfront had been halted.

In a notice to the Newport City Council on Monday, Jul. 6, Acting City Manager Peggy Hawker said that the plant has been able to meet current water demand and the fish processors, Pacific Seafood and Bornstein, have been advised that they can operate their plants at full production.

According to Hawker, the processing of hake and shrimp at the plants would occur starting Tuesday, Jul. 7. Water was fully restored to all commercial users and all are operating as usual since Tuesday as well.

“There were concerns that we were going to shut down longer than just through the holiday weekend,” said Lori Steele, executive director of West Coast Seafood Processors. “There were financial losses and disruption in the fishing community when this happened, but we got through it.”

Some testing was also conducted Tuesday morning to ensure everything is functional before sending water through the system for treatment, reported the Newport News Times.

The fouled membrane water filter has been received by Pall Corporation, the manufacturer, in order to perform diagnostics and testing. It is unknown whether the issue is biological or mechanical. 

“They worked all day yesterday,” said Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer. “An electrician ran two major electric panels to power the mobile units.”

According to Sawyer, city officials are confident the city meets the requirements of the grant and that perhaps some costs can be covered by the warranty remaining on the filters.

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