Fayette tries to cap carbon — in its water

Fayette County is trying to impose its own carbon cap — not on energy but on one of its water reservoirs.

To address problems with carbon levels at the South Fayette Water Treatment Plant, the Fayette County Water System wants to test two different treatment processes for potential future implementation.

The carbon levels do not pose a health threat, but the county is required to come into compliance with state regulations that call for a 35 percent removal of the total organic carbon compared to the water source.

Total organic carbon is derived from the decay of organic material in the water source, which in this case is the Lake Horton reservoir. The extra carbon doesn’t affect either the clarity or taste of the drinking water, officials said.

A request to fund both treatment processes will be presented to the Fayette County Board of Commissioners at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday.

According to the water system’s annual water quality report, the county is now in compliance with its treatment technique for total organic carbon.

The trial runs of two different treatment processes will cost the county water system just under $50,000. One of the processes uses a magnetized ion exchange resin to remove dissolved organic carbon from the drinking water.

The other is a polishing system using micro-sand-enhanced flocculation and setting which also removes taste and odor along with coloration and other matter, both organic and non-organic, according to advance information supplied to the county commission.

Both treatment processes will be tested at the same time using the same water, according to the memo.