DWU investigating reclaimed water leak

From staff reports
This photo shows some of the facilities at the Destin Water Users water reclamation facility off of Airport Road.

On Jan 11, 2014, at 1:45 p.m., Destin Water Users discovered a leak in a public access reuse line leaving the Destin Water Users, Inc. George F. French Water Reclamation Plant" at 14 Industrial Park Lane off Airport Road.

DWU General Manager Richard Griswold told The Log that the leak occurred in the facilities reclaimed water main, which he says carries the same water that people spray on their lawns.

"It meets primary and secondary drinking water standards so little harm comes from personal contact," he wrote in an email, "but it's still not suitable for drinking."

Paul Reese, plant operations manager, emailed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection this explainer of the situation.

"An indeterminate amount of water has been lost; it is most likely greater than 1,000 gallons. The leak is flowing into wetlands and may impact surface water.  The water is continuously monitored for chlorine residual and is about a 4.0 mg/l at this time.  The leak has been isolated and repair and clean-up efforts are underway."

Some of the escaped water may have reached a small wetlands area.

A temporary repair has been made to the pipe and it's currently operational, but line pressure will probably "be inadequate for our customers east of the plant." The exact cause of the leak is unknown, but Griswold noted that the leak took place in the same spot as a previous repair. He added that reclaimed water customers along Holiday Isle are not affected.

"The potential exists that it could be a week or more before we can start a permanent repair, which could easily take a couple of weeks itself," he wrote.

A more detailed report will be issued once DWU knows all of the facts, Griswold said.

To read the Northwest Florida Daily News' report on the leak, click here.