Vaporizor towers stand next to a tank that will store liquid oxygen at minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit for ozone generation at the Geren Island water treatment facility on Monday, May 10, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Salem's drinking water has a new multi-million dollar filtration system.
On Aug. 4, the $48 million ozone treatment facility in Salem marked its completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Frank Mauldin Ozone Treatment Facility at Geren Island will protect Salem’s water against algae blooms, severe weather and wildfires according to a statement released by the City of Salem.
The technology is also used in Lake Oswego, Tigard, Medford and Wlisonville. Salem’s treatment center is named after Frank Mauldin, the late public works director who led Salem’s department from 1988 to 2002.
“We chose ozone treatment to enhance our existing treatment processes because of its demonstrated ability to successfully treat algal toxins and other contaminants. This long-term investment in ozone treatment along with other improvements at Geren Island will ensure that Salem’s water is safe today and for generations into the future. I’m proud of the advancements we’ve made in our water system with this project," said Brian Martin, city engineer.
The four-step process starts with liquid oxygen being warmed and converted to gas before being sent to an ozone generator. That generator uses an electric charge to turn the gas into ozone gas. That ozone gas then dissolves into the water and breaks down bacteria and materials that impact the taste and smell of the water.