Dredge heads to WTP

Dredge heads to WTP

August 24, 2017

Visitors to Greenville's Town Common were in for quite a surprise recently when a large crane lifted a dredge into the Tar River, courtesy of GUC's Water Treatment Plant (WTP).

Turning river water into drinking water is quite a task with a lot of steps, and it all begins with bringing water from the Tar River into the WTP. Water enters the plant through intakes in the river, and the intakes have screens that keep out large debris. But over time, sediment begins to accumulate around the intakes and must be removed by dredging.

In August, GUC contracted with a dredging company to begin the week-long process of cleaning sediment from around the intakes. Step one was to place the large dredge into the Tar River by way of a crane, but there is no room to do that at the WTP. "It took about two hours for the dredge to make its way from Town Common in Uptown Greenville to our plant," said WTP Superintendent Julius Patrick.

Similar to vacuuming a floor, the dredge moves slowly across the water, pulling sediment from around the intakes and out through a series of pipes. Since intake screens are our first line of defense to get debris and sediment out of the river water before it enters the plant, it's important to keep the screens clear. That makes the treatment process more efficient.

"Quality drinking water is important to us and our customers," said Julius. "This project is one way that we can continue to maintain high treatment standards."