RIO RANCHO, N.M. — A new disinfectant system at Rio Rancho’s biggest wastewater treatment plant will provide more effective, efficient cleaning and allow for future growth.
City Utilities Director Jim Chiasson expects the new ultraviolet-light disinfectant system to go online at Wastewater Treatment Plant 2 on Industrial Park Loop around Labor Day. It will replace the current UV system, which, being about 20 years old, is near the end of its useful life.
The plant processes 6 million-plus gallons per day now, serving the largest portion of the community of any of Rio Rancho’s wastewater treatment plants.
Chiasson said UV wastewater treatment uses ultraviolet light at a particular wavelength to damage protozoa, bacteria and virus cells, killing them with 99.99 percent effectiveness. The technology has been widely used in wastewater systems for the last 40-50 years, taking the place of chlorine treatment, which was less expensive but more dangerous and didn’t work as well.