Brown water Pilot project
The “Heights” neighborhood of the Pocomoke City, Maryland has dealt with brown water problems for decades. Since this issue arose, different attempts to address it have been unsuccessful and left residents feeling hopeless. Residents have experienced a multitude of problems from the water issues in the city, from their clothes become stained by the water in their washing machines, to water fixtures rusting out and needing frequent replacement, to fear of using the public water for bathing or cooking. Residents resorted to using filters and water softeners, which were ultimately ineffective and needed constant maintenance.
4 Decades of Brown Water
On December 18, 2017, Pocomoke City, MD and IOREX USA, LLC reached an agreement to embark on a pilot project to determine the effectiveness of IOREX in reducing turbidity and lowering the iron content of the water in the city. If the pilot was deemed unsuccessful, the city would return the devices and receive a full refund. The pilot would be deemed successful if the turbidity level dropped and the iron concentration decreased by at least 30% downstream of the devices when compared with pre-installation test results.
The city installed one of the devices on Friday, February 9, 2018, thus launching the pilot project. The other device was installed the following week on February 12th, in the Heights neighborhood. The Heights was known for having some of the worst brown water in the city. The IOREX installation attracted coverage by multiple media outlets, including local TV stations and newspapers. Coverage of the IOREX pilot project has continued including several follow up stories which note that Pocomoke is the first city in the country with this technology and could be the poster child for a more innovative and effective way of solving brown water issues that affect countless towns and cities across the country.
The City conducted one pre-installation water test and three subsequent tests on February 27th, March 13th, and April 10th of this year. The test was conducted by an independent lab called Geoscope Enviromental Labarotories.
- Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) is a method that measures colony formation on culture media of heterotrophic bacteria in drinking water. Thus, the HPC test (also known as Standard Plate Count) can be used to measure the overall bacteriological quality of drinking water in public, semi-public and private water systems.
The initial water tests showed the depth of the problem with the city’s water. Iron content was averaging 2.12 mg/L, turbidity was 9.06 NTU, and Heterotrophic Plate Count (a measure of micro-organism content in water) was 10.04 CFU/mL. Less than 30 days after installation, the iron level had dropped 37.74%, well over the 30% stipulated for the pilot project. Turbidity had dropped 19.87% and Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) had dropped 99.99%. These results show how promising the IOREX technology was after just one-sixth of the initial time stipulated in the pilot project agreement.
According to the April 10th results, the iron content has dropped 76.89% over pre-installation numbers. Turbidity has reduced by 56.95% and HPC has fallen 84.56% over pre-installation levels. After seeing these figures, the pilot concluded on May 31st, more than two months early.
IOREX is proud to have partnered with Pocomoke City, MD on this pilot project and hope the residents of Pocomoke enjoy their newly cleared water as much as we enjoyed working with the town. We are excited to expand the project to cover the entire city.