Risk Management Plan
The City of Emporia Water Treatment Plant has eight employees and operates 24 hours per day. The facility is a surface water treatment plant that uses the Neosho River as its primary source. The treatment plant supplies potable water to 8,600 meters within the City of Emporia, and also sells water to six rural water districts and two small cities within Lyon County. In 1998, the average daily pumpage was 7,941,843 gallons. Chlorine and ammonia are used as a secondary disinfectant during the treatment process.
The chlorine storage area is housed in a building that was constructed in 1996 as part of a major renovation to the treatment plant that included new chlorine and ammonia feed equipment. This room is equipped with leak detectors and ventilators. There are also windows in the doors to the chlorine storage room and to the chlorine feed room as well as a window between the feed room and the storage room. In the event of a chlorine leak, the audible alarm is activated at the storage building and at the operator control station.
All employees have received training on the standard operating procedure to follow if a chlorine leak were to occur. These instructions are written in the Standard Operating Procedures Manual and the Water Treatment Division Safety Manual, which are kept at the operator control station, which is located in another area of the plant away from the chlorine storage area. The procedures are identical to the procedures prescribed in the Handbook of Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Water Utilities and the Chlorine Manual from the Chlorine Institute, Inc. Emergency telephone numbers are listed in the manuals and include the Emporia Fire Department, Vulcan Material Company Chemical Division, Chemtrec, Medical Emergencies for Toxicological Information, and the number of our Chlorine supplier. Employees have also been trained in the use of the three Self Contained Breathing Apparatus units that are maintained in different areas of the plant outside of the chlorine storage room. In the past twenty-eight years, there have been no accidents involving a reportable release of chemicals. Recently we have reduced our inventory of chlorine on hand and decreased the number of chlorine cylinders online at any one time.
The Emporia Water Treatment Plant has coordinated with the Emporia Fire Department in the past to provide training on proper procedures involving chlorine leaks. Mock drills have been held at the chlorine storage room that involved simulated chlorine leaks and human casualties. We anticipate that drills will continue to be held in the future. We also provide the Fire Department with Tier II notification of our inventory on a yearly basis. Local industries that use chlorine have also held chlorine safety seminars at the Water Treatment Plant chlorine storage room, which primarily dealt with the proper use of the Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit "B" for ton cylinders. Treatment plant personnel were on hand to provide information and answer questions concerning the safe handling of one-ton cylinders.
Our Aqua Ammonia storage tank has a capacity of 6,000 gallons. The containment structure built around it is capable of catching and holding the entire contents of the vessel in the event that a leak or damages to the tank were to occur. The ammonia feed room is equipped with a ventilation system and is isolated from the chlorine feed room and storage areas.
The Water Treatment Plant is located in the Northwest corner of the City of Emporia approximately three miles from the center of town and is situated on about 40 acres of land. Along our Southern boundary is a business and shopping district. Single- and multiple-family housing units occupy the other three boundaries. The majority of these dwellings are located at least one-fourth to one-half of a mile from the chlorine storage room and the aqua ammonia storage tank. Other chemicals that are stored on-site in large quantities, such as lime and aluminum sulfate, are not of the nature or have toxic properties that would be of concern to the public if a spill were to occur.
Our chlorine storage room was designed to provide storage space for as many as thirteen one-ton cylinders, four of which are online and ready for use. We have recently changed our policies so that no more than five one-ton cylinders will ever be on hand at any given time and no more than two will be online and ready for use. This policy was adopted to reduce to amount of toxic materials stored on the site and help ensure public safety in the event of a chlorine release.