Dec 6, 2013 12:22 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI - For at least one city worker, the sound of flowing water is music to his ears.
If water is flowing through the O.N. Stevens plant in Corpus Christi, water treatment manager Rafeal Martinez knows the city's water supply is heading in the right direction.
He said his heart skipped a beat when he heard about the Beeville water supply fiasco. No clean water in that city shut down schools, hospitals and even a prison for two days.
He said his first thought went to the people of Beeville. His second? Wondering what went wrong there.
"We want to offer our help in any way we can, but we also take time when things like that happen -- just as anyone would -- and we study our own safeguards here. Our own process," Martinez told KRIS 6 News.
The safeguards? A mix of old school chemistry and advanced technology, locked behind security gates and manned around the clock.
The plant can treat more than 160 million gallons a day and more is planned.
Fresh water comes from a pipe connected back to the Nueces River and the Mary Rhodes pipeline. It goes through sand filters and chemical treatment before jetting out through pumps to the city supply lines.
Remote sensors feed operators a constant stream of data on water pressures and chemical content.
All with one thing in mind: keeping the city's households, businesses, and even heavy industry, stocked with plenty of clean water.
Martinez said with all the technology there's still no safeguard like people having a passion for clean water.
"Many water treatment professionals will tell you, 'My job ends where the pumps start to pump and the water goes through the distribution system.' However that's not our attitude here. Our responsibility ends at your tap."