Water tower ‘leaks’ recycled
If you’ve seen water draining from Marion’s water towers, relax. It’s not a leak. And it’s not a senseless waste of resources amid a drought, according to city administrator Roger Holter.
Marion’s water is purified with ozone, but the state still requires that an old-fashioned purification chemical, chorine, be present — possibly to fight microorganisms lurking in pipes beyond the water plant.
The problem is, hot sun beating down on the tops of water towers causes chlorine to dissipate, so the towers must occasionally be intentionally overflowed, Holter said last week, to bring in freshly treated water that will restore the required level of residual chlorine.
Not all the overflow water is wasted, however. At the base of the city’s larger tower on the east edge of town is a 3,500-gallon tank. Overflow water is collected there, Holter said, and used to water crops in the adjacent community garden. Only when the tank is full does water drain onto the ground.