Hudson has been providing safe, potable drinking water to residents since 1912. The City owns and operates its own water treatment plant and services approximately 3,500 customers. Three other water providers, including Akron, Cleveland, and Stow, also service Hudson. The Hudson Water Treatment Plant works hard to comply with all safety standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the water is clean and safe to drink. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the City’s water treatment department.
A priority of the two full-time employees and one part-time employee is to provide exceptional customer service to the residents of Hudson. If customers have a problem with their water, whether the water is cloudy or tastes different, someone from the water department will stop by to take water samples or run tests to find the source of the problem. They then advise the residents about what to do if the problem is not with our water plant or distribution system. The water department is always available to answer any questions their customers may have.
“Providing personalized customer service is very important to the water department,” said Scott Angel, Assistant Public Works Superintendent. “We want to make sure every customer has a good experience and will be satisfied. Even if we are unable to fix a problem, we feel it’s important to look into it and advise the customer about the next steps.”
Providing outstanding customer service isn’t the only job of the water department employees. They also work hard to keep the plant running and run tests on the water each day. Hudson water is purely groundwater that is drawn from five wells. Groundwater does not require as much chlorine for treatment as other cities whose water source is surface water, such as lakes, which contain more plants and organisms. The water quality and aesthetic characteristics, such as taste and smell, tend to be more consistent with groundwater as well.
From drawing the water from the wells to when the approximately one million gallons of water are sent out for distribution each day, great care is taken to make sure it is safe and clean. First, water is pumped from the wells into the plant where it is treated for iron and manganese removal. The water then goes through six sand filters to reduce minerals, such as iron. Next, 80% of the water is sent to the zeolite softeners. These work just like home softeners, using a brine solution to take the hardness out of the water.
When the water comes into the plant, the readings for hardness are approximately 500 milligrams per liter. Once it goes through the softeners, the reading drops to nearly 130 milligrams per liter. “Many plants do not soften their water, so the fact that we do is a benefit to our residents,” explained Angel.
Next, the water is sent to the clearwell tanks for additional treatment. The chemicals used to treat the water have no negative impacts to those who drink tap water. The chemicals are used to adhere to EPA guidelines and ensure Hudson residents can have confidence in their water utility. A wide range of water testing is performed at varying frequencies in accordance with EPA regulations, including tests for iron, lead, and other minerals. Once the water receives its final dose of chlorine, it is sent to the homes.
As an efficiency measure, the City is constructing a brine well to reduce the money spent each year on salt to regenerate the zeolite softeners. Currently, salt is purchased and hauled in from a mine at the cost of $103 per ton. The brine well will take an initial investment, but has an attractive return on investment. The brine can replace the mine salt, saving more than $100,000 per year, not including the money that will be saved by supplementing a portion of the road salt used during the winter. The brine well is expected to be in production by next summer.
Have questions about your City of Hudson Water? Call the Water Department at 330-342-1710.