Frank J Horgan Filtration Plant Essay Research

Frank J. Horgan Filtration Plant Essay, Research Paper

Frank J. Horgan Filtration Plant


The Frank J. Horgan Filtration Plant is located Southeast of Toronto on

the shores of Lake Ontario (See map). Its purpose is to provide safe drinking

water to our taps by filtering the water. The water is gathered from Lake

Ontario. This plant has a production capacity of 455 million litres per day to

supply the residents of Toronto with drinking water. Its average production of

drinking water is 355 million litres per day. It is also the newest filtration

plant in Toronto.


The Frank J. horgan Filtration Plant was built from 1974 to 1979 on

property acquired from the city of Scarborough, It opened on May 22,1980. When

it opened, it was not named Frank J. Horgan Filtration Plant but was names

Easterly Filtration Plant. This was because the plant was on the eastern side of

Toronto. The name seemed appropriate at the time. The name was changed to Frank

J. Horgan Filtration Plant at 1990 by the commissioner of works for Metro

Toronto. This plant cost about 57 million dollars to construct. About nineteen

major contractors worked on this plant and were supervised by the Engineering

firm of James F. Macharen Limited. Although it is the newest plant, it had it?s

disasters. Their intake value exploded twice between 1980 and 1995 because of

the extreme pressure and Wight of the water. these incidents cause a shutdown of

the plant until they could repair it.


The Frank J. Horgan Filtration Plant needs only one row materials to

operate, which is water. The plant is right next to lake Ontario, collecting

water to purify. The water enters the plant by means of two 114 and four 182

million litres per day pumps, sum 18 meters below sea level and 2960 meters off

the shore. Since the pressure of the water at that depth is so strong, there is

no need for any mechanical pumps. They just let pressure and suction to do the

job. The water is now treated with chemicals which are aluminium sulphate (alum),

lime and chlorine. Alum is used to stick dirt particles together, to make large

clumps of dirty called “floc”. A lot of chlorine is added to the water to kill

the bacteria. If we were to drink it, you would die from chlorine poisoning. The

Chlorine, by the end of the filtration, drops to a safe level. This is where the

alum does its work. Coagulation is basically mixing the alum with the water.

This is a achieved by high speed in-line mechanical blenders. Flocculation

occurs right afterwards. Alum could be either poly-aluminium chloride or

aluminium sulphate, is a very sticky substance which likes clinging onto dirt

particles. All this flocculation is done in three stages:

1.Focculation is achieved by exail flow turbines with varied inputs of energy

and the last two stages are done in two 900mm diameter pipelines.

2.The next step in filtering the water is filtration. The water passes through 8

dual media filters. This is where some bacteria and the floc are removed. The

filters consists of the following in order: 0.305m of grated gravel, 0.35m of

sand and 0.460m of anthracite. This was the best composition for the filter to

make it effective. Normally this would be done once but if the water is really

dirty it would have to be filtered again to meet the government standard. By now

most of the chlorine in the water has killed most of the bacteria and the level

of chlorine in the water is much lower.

3.Here is where they kill any remaining bacteria and add flavouring to the water.

They add about 1.2mg per litre of chlorine, any more and it will kill you from

fluorine poisoning. Chlorine is also added to kill any remaining bacteria. This

time if you drink the water it is safe. If there are high levels of bacteria

they would have to go through a process called “Super-chlorination”. Hence the

name, they increase the chlorine dosage. After that, they reduce the chlorine

content by adding sulphur-dioxide. Ammonium is added to the water.

The final stage is storage and distribution. By the time the water gets to your

home there may not be any chlorine left. This is not good because what if there

was bacteria in the pipes? The ammonia prevents the chlorine from evaporating

that easily that way it is killing any bacteria in the pipes. All water you

receive from your taps is a combination of all four filtration plants in Toronto.

Waste Disposal

Most of the waste produced in the filtration plant is in the dirty

filters. It is too expensive and time wasting to go down and replace the filters

every time they get dirty. Since making clean water is a 24 hour, 7 days a week

job, they had to think of a way to clean the filters fast and effectively. To

clean the filters they use a process called “back wash”. The back wash uses

treated water and is forced up the filter and out the other way. The filter will

now expand inside because of the pressure of the water. The waste will go to a

separate place and then will be dumped to highland creek water pollution control

plant for treatment and disposal of the waste.


It is required that at least two people are at all times in the plant.

On the weekdays during 4-5 hours about 35 people work there. On week-ends and on

holidays only two people are at the plant. The two required people are usually

found in the control room. The people there have twelve hour shifts. If one

person is late for work, the person duty is required to stay in the control room

until they are relieved by the other person.


We mostly pay water through maintenance fees or through utility bills.

On average in North America, water costs about $1.30 American currency per 1000

gallons. That is essentially less than one cent per gallon. United States and

Canada produce 49 billion gallons of water each day. That is about a revenue of

54.6 million U.S. dollars per day. The Franc J. Horgan filtration plant

accounts for a part of this production with revenues of $122 200 us dollars a

day. About 10% of the water produced is lost or unaccounted for. Canada is

amongst the biggest water wasters in the world. An average Canadian uses 340

litres of water every day. That is more than twice the consumption of Europeans.

About 39% of the water distributed is used in homes compared to 27% used in

factories, 19% in commercial businesses and 5% used by the public. Therefore,

most of the water distributed is used in our homes and although water is a

bargain we must remember that it is in limited supply.


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