PALMDALE – Palmdale Water District (PWD) has started preparing for the scheduled removal of the baffle curtains from its six-million-gallon clearwell water tank, known as the 6M, where treated water is stored before being distributed to customers.
Divers with Blue Locker Diving are scheduled to enter the 6M on Monday, Oct. 30, to cut the approximately 30-foot-tall hanging baffle curtains into manageable sections. Baffle curtains in clearwell water tanks increase contact time for chlorine-treated water by creating a longer flow path within the tank, improving water treatment performance.
Once the curtains are cut, the 6M will be drained into a detention basin, and PWD staff will enter the tank to remove the curtains and any debris on the tank floor. The 6M will be disinfected, filled with water and tested for cleanliness before being placed back in service.
“We are removing the baffle curtains in the 6M as requested by the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water,” said PWD GM Dennis D. LaMoreaux. “It will take several weeks because it is labor intensive and a complicated process that involves ensuring that we can still meet our customers’ water needs with the 6M shut down.”
To remove the baffle curtains, the 6M on Avenue S near Sierra Highway will be taken out of service starting today. For the next three weeks, customers will receive water from PWD’s 21 wells and treated water from the Leslie O. Carter Water Treatment Plant through the three-million-gallon water tank, or 3M, that is also on Avenue S.
The state’s Division of Drinking Water recently asked PWD to remove the baffle curtains after debris that included pieces of the curtain was found in water being flushed from a transmission main, which is not connected to water services for homes and businesses. The transmission main continues to be flushed to check for any additional debris.
“We have always supplied safe, clean water to our community,” LaMoreaux said. “We have had the baffle curtains in the 6M since 1998. The curtain material is Hypalon, which does not dissolve and is safe to be in contact with drinking water, per the National Science Foundation.”
As required by the state, PWD publishes an annual Consumer Confidence Report that provides detailed information about its water quality. In 2022, PWD completed more than 18,000 tests for 80 regulated contaminants. The report is available in English and Spanish on the PWD website at www.palmdalewater.org.
[Information via news release from the city of Palmdale.]