Work board OKs purchase of UV bulbs

COLUMBIA CITY — Light bulbs play a key role in the cleaning process of treated sewage before it leaves Columbia City’s Water Pollution Control Facility.Soon, all ultraviolet bulbs at the plant will be changed in one fell swoop, courtesy of the town’s Board of Works and Safety.The board approved the purchase of 120 UV lamps at $135 apiece costing $16,200. What’s more expensive are the quartz sleeves at $156 per unit, or $18,720.The bulb replacement project will cost $34,920.The board approved purchase of the bulbs from Wedeco, the bulb’s manufacturer.The UV lamps are used to disinfect sewer water as it travels from the secondary clarifier into the UV structure for disinfection.The water leaves that station and heads to the aerator before leaving the facility.According to Mike Cook, facility superintendent, the life expectancy of a typical UV bulb is three years.“Ours are four years old. We pushed the limit on ours because of the expense,” he said.Cook said he recommended buying the bulbs from Wedeco because that company was the designer of the system already in place at the plant.Cook and the board had originally discussed replacing the bulbs piecemeal to avoid the large cost.“After discussion with my staff, it was confirmed that replacing all 120 bulbs at one time was the best approach,” said Cook in a letter to the board.“This will eliminate possible failure of older bulbs running alongside new bulbs. It will also prevent confusion of which bulbs are new and which are old,” he said.