On Thursday, August 13, 2015, a small, but curious, group from NEOCHMM, toured Cleveland’s Baldwin Water Treatment Plant. This is the first such tour of any Water Treatment Plant by NEOCHMM and we would like to thank Frank Petrik, CHMM for setting up the tour for us.

We were warmly greeted by Tom Loren, Assistant Plant Manager. Tom is in charge of day-to-day operations at the plant. Moreover, he is a passionate advocate for consumer confidence in Cleveland’s ability to supply clean and safe drinking water. Tom provided us with a history of the facility, an understanding of the treatment process and a tour of the facilities.

The history of the Baldwin Treatment Plant tracks the growth of Cleveland. It also tracks the need for and growth of the Environmental Protection, Health and Safety Field. Indeed, Garrett Morgan, developed one of the first gas masks used to rescue workers trapped by gas in the intake tunnels that brought water from Lake Erie on shore to the water treatment plants.

Touring the Baldwin plant, with its rich building materials and ornate architectural features, leaves the impression of drinking water being treated with class. The treatment process involves:

  • basic screening
  • addition of potassium permanganate
  • pre-chlorination as necessary
  • addition of alum and powered activated carbon in rapid mix chambers
  • flocculation
  • sedimentation
  • gravity filtration
  • hypochlorite disinfection
  • 130 Million Gallon finished water underground reservoir storage
  • Post processing of return flows and sludges

In the early 2000’s, the plant underwent massive modernization, all while maintaining the architectural and historical features of the facility. The end result is that just two licensed operators per shift can now provide basic daily operations for a facility that produces and average of 71 MGD of potable water.

NEOCHMM thanks Frank, Tom and all the Cleveland Water employees for a tour of this facility and for producing safe drinking water for the Cleveland area.