Tony Lawson has been working at Orange City Council's Water Treatment Plant in Icely Road for four years as an operator and mechanical fitter. The plant supplies all of Orange with treated water pumped up from Suma Park dam.
"I reckon it's a big responsibility working here. You're looking after a lot of people’s lives. We do the water tests every day to make sure the fluoride pH and chlorine levels are ok."
The pumps are down at Suma Dam. We've got three pumps which pump 300-321 litres a second.
When the water comes up to the plant it gets treated with aluminium chlorohydrate – it forms a chemical that attracts itself to dirt. It then goes into flash mixers and an impellor, then through the clarifiers. Then the water goes back – it collects the dirt and this drops to the ground.
The scrapers collect all the dirt through the valves to the sludge pit. The dirty water gets sent to the sewage treatment works and we sell it to Cadia [mine].
The water then goes into the eight filters. Water comes into site basins which are white tiled so we can see any dirt. The water overflows into a cellar where it gets treated with soda ash to correct the pH, and fluoride.
The water is then pumped to the ozone treatment plant. The ozone water is then pumped into the 20 megalitre tank. Just before it goes, chlorine gets injected into it. From these tanks it gets gravity fed into eight storage tanks around town.
I reckon it's a big responsibility working here. You're looking after a lot of people's lives. We do the water tests every day to make sure the fluoride pH and chlorine levels are ok.