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Virginia Water Solution

Investing for Sustainability

At Virginia American Water, we are committed to developing innovative approaches to address water treatment and infrastructure challenges.  Relying on the expertise and dedication of our engineering and water quality professionals,we have developed a number of novel water solutions that maximize financial resources, meet our customers’ needs, and result in greater sustainability of our water systems.  
In this section, we highlight a few examples of these solutions.

Hopewell Water Treatment Plant

Our Hopewell Water Treatment Plant serves more than 9,300 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the City of Hopewell, a portion of Prince George County and the neighboring Fort Lee Army Garrison.  

  • Issue:  Prior to 2001, the Hopewell Water Treatment plant produced potable (drinking) water only.  However, industrial customers, which are the largest users of water in the Hopewell system, do not require the more costly and higher grade potable water for their industrial processes.  
  • Solution: Virginia American Water developed an innovative, cost-effective solution for its industrial customers, while continuing to serve its residential and commercial customers.  The plant’s treatment processes and systems were transitioned to dual-use, with one system for potable water for domestic consumption and the other for non-potable water for industrial use.  In effect, Hopewell has two water treatment plants at one site – one of the few dual-use facilities in the United States. During the 2009-2012 plant expansion, Virginia American Water made upgrades to both the potable and non-potable water facilities.  The $24.6 million project increased total treatment capacity to 36 million gallons a day (18 potable and 18 non-potable). Learn more about the expansion and upgrades at the Hopewell Water Treatment Plant.

Managing Taste and Odor Issues Related to Algae

  • Issue: Algae blooms, which are becoming more common, can lead to taste and odor (T&O) events in drinking water. During the summer of 2010, the Hopewell Water Treatment Plant faced a severe T&O event related to MIB, a T&O-causing compound produced by several Cyanobacteria species.  MIB levels peaked at 1,200 ng/L in the river source of supply and 200 ng/L in the plant effluent. While the water met all federal and state standards for water quality, the unpleasant taste and odor were a problem for many of our Hopewell system customers.
  • Solution: Virginia American Water implemented a plan to address the issue and explore solutions. The plan included (i) conducting public outreach activities to educate customers about the causes of T&O, (ii) promoting regional environmental solutions, (iii) optimizing the existing treatment with operational improvements, and(iv)exploringengineering solutions by adding new treatment step(s), such as advanced treatment with ozone or ultra violet (UV) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
    A pilot study was conducted to determine the effects of advanced oxidation using UV/hydrogen peroxide on T&O-causing compounds, such as MIB and geosmin, and other water quality parameters.  After radical oxidation, water was filtered through granulated activated carbon (GAC).
    The study showed that UV combined with hydrogen peroxideis a viable solution for removing T&O-causing compounds (MIB and geosmin), even at high levels.  The remaining peroxide, disinfection byproducts and organic nutrients could be removed by GAC filtration.  Learn more.