The water treatment plants use an advanced thin film composite membrane in place of chemical softening to treat 13 million gallons a day (MGD) of raw groundwater from the Biscayne aquifer. This water is distributed to Plantation Utilities customers for drinking, cooking, washing, irrigation, leisure and fire protection.
The Central and East plants can produce up to 12 MGD each. Both plants have eight raw water wells ranging from 80′ to 110′ deep into the aquifer. The pumps are submersible and the well fields are designed to blend in with the surrounding parks where they are located. A scale inhibitor is blended with raw water, which then flows through cartridge filters to stop particulates larger than 5 microns.
The water is then pumped through the membrane arrays. Each 2-stage array consists of numerous fiberglass tubes, which contain the thin film composite membranes. Each membrane is a semi permeable material that allows water to pass through it more rapidly than the undesirable elements contained in the groundwater, thus eliminating those impurities.
The thin film composite material is wrapped around an inner pipe hundreds of times. The raw water is forced from the outside of the wrap through the material producing a permeate (the water that has permeated the membrane) which goes on to become our drinking water. The membranes reject the components of hardness (calcium, magnesium, etc.), color & odor (humic acid, etc.) bacteria, viruses and protozoa. The rejected substances are concentrated raw water that did not pass through the membrane is returned to the boulder zone of the aquifer system, at 2,700 feet (not to be confused with the Biscayne Aquifer).
After the membranes, the water cascades over plastic media to remove hydrogen sulfide gas and carbon dioxide, further eliminating odor and controlling pH. A small amount of chlorine and ammonia are added to disinfect and preserve the water while it is stored and distributed to customers.
The water is distributed throughout the City in a pipeline network that is continually monitored, maintained and upgraded to ensure safe, dependable water is delivered to our customers. The pipes range in size from 36 inches inside the water plants to one inch at homes and businesses. We use a variety of pipe materials such as pvc, iron, steel and polyethylene. You may see staff periodically obtaining water samples from hose bibs or exercising fire hydrants and valves as part of our effort to protect and improve the water supply. We collect about 100 samples a month in the distribution system alone.
The well fields, plants, pipes, fire hydrants, valves and meters that make up the water distribution system are maintained by Utilities Department staff who are dedicated to quality work and to the City of Plantation.