Tacoma Water: Methanol: Consumption

The methanol facility use

Specifically, presented, “7.1 Water Supply The methanol plant will require significant quantities of water to function. Estimated usage amounts identify the facility as requiring about 10.4 million gallons of water per day (enough to supply 26,000 homes, assuming average use of 400 gallons per day). . . .” See, Methanol EIS Draft Scope of Work 02052016.pdf (p. 8, § 7.1) (emphasis added)., http://cms.cityoftacoma.org/planning/Methanol%20Plant/Methanol%20EIS%20Draft%20Scope%20of%20Work%2002052016.pdf (last visited Feb 13, 2016)

The water customers use forecast 2014

So, we are informed about the Tacoma Water Utility ability to supply water to all customers March 2014:

Just over a century ago, 42 million gallons-a-day of Green River water began flowing through a 43-mile pipeline into the City of Tacoma. Today, the Green River is still the city’s primary water source, and one of the nation’s last remaining unfiltered surface water supplies. To comply with the federal Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2), Tacoma Water and its Second Supply Project (SSP) partners expect to start up a new filtration facility late this year with final completion by May 2015.

Tacoma Water provides direct drinking water service to about 316,000 people in the City of Tacoma, and parts of King and Pierce counties. The utility also supplies water to a number of wholesale customers as well as its SSP partners, Covington Water District, the City of Kent, and Lakehaven Utility District.

In 2005, the SSP partners completed a transmission pipeline from the Green River, increasing the capacity of the Green River supply to about 167 million gallons per day. Including the SSP partners, about 500,000 customers receive water from Tacoma’s system. If all wholesale and partner utilities are counted, about 1 million customers could receive water from Tacoma’s system. See, Water Tap, March 2014 – wt0314.pdf Washington’s Drinking Water Newsletter, http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/4200/wt0314.pdf (last visited Feb 13, 2016)

Let’s calculate just a little

For example, methanol facility presents every home uses 400-GD (gallons per day) therefore the Year 2014 forecast for water customers might reach 1-million; as a result, 1-million × 400-GD = 400-MGD water production required from Tacoma Water. But, were not considering the 10.4-MGD water methanol facility requires.

Tacoma Water Utility filtration production capability

Nevertheless, we now have an operating new drinking water Tacoma Water filtration plant, “The facility will be able to treat up to 168 million gallons of drinking water per day, and will be the largest filtration treatment plant in Washington.” See, Tacoma Water Green River Filtration Project, http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/331-490-Tacoma.pdf (last visited Feb 13, 2016).

I would say were a little water short right now.

On the other hand, maybe Tacoma Water Utility has new and revised water consumption forecasts for years 2015 and years future? I don’t know because I have not seen the current water consumption data forecast done Tacoma Water and population (housing) growth considering the SSP partners.

Still, if this new Tacoma Water filtration plant has capability of 168-MGD and using the methanol house water consumption fact; as a result, we will need, in future years, 400-MGD filtered water but we only have 168-MGD available as filtered drinking water. Seems-to-me the filtered drinking water supplies are just a little short for future years availability and that is excluding the Tacoma Methanol Facility water consumption.

Ultimately, might we consider the methanol comparison water usage by homes is wrong? 400-GD : 1 home.

As an alternative source of water

Instead, maybe the Methanol Facility might draw its process water from Puyallup River and condition this water as necessary for its methanol process needs. Condition the water need at its own expense and to the filtration necessary for methanol process supply water quality.

Maybe the devil is in the financial water details?

Who knows? I would not like to consider the Tacoma Water Utility is playing a financial immediate benefit gain for today and placing all residential ratepayers at risk for their future drinking water availability in future years; for example, if Tacoma Water Utility needed to make more revenue for customers soon the Methanol Facility might be the cash-cow it needs instead of increasing ratepayers’ rates even more? Tacoma Water Utility needs to publish fact data about Tacoma Water current and forecast future years drinking water consumption including all water use impacts related to Second Supply Project (SSP) partners considered.

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