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Water-Related News

Lake Mary water plant destroys 1,4-dixoane with unusual tech

The appearance of machinery inside an industrial building in west Lake Mary suggests Frankenstein’s birthplace, or maybe a vintage supercomputer or even a hazardous waste incinerator – which is kind of what it is.

It’s not intuitive that the basic function of the machinery is so commonplace as purifying and providing 3 million gallons of drinking water daily to 17,000 residents of Lake Mary. It does so with extraordinary effect.

Angular, elongated and draped in dreadlocks of external wiring, the machinery is the heart of Lake Mary’s two-year-old water treatment plant. It combines high-strength hydrogen peroxide with high-wattage ultraviolet light to chemically incinerate a toxic substance into innocuous molecular shreds.

The city’s water – before treatment – contains small but concerning amounts of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical labeled by federal authorities as probably carcinogenic.

Lake Mary officials would not permit interior photos of the plant during a recent tour, and the city’s lawyer insisted that its components not be described in detail for security reasons.

But Lake Mary’s chosen treatment methodology, more costly and complex than conventional means, is gaining visibility nationally as a utility solution for water contaminants of rising concern like 1,4-dioxane. Many experts also note multiple ways that such plants outperform home treatment systems such as reverse osmosis units.