Water Management

Posted on: January 25, 2017

Rock Blasting Planned at Williams Water Treatment Plant

Demolition Work Expected to Begin No Earlier Than Friday, 1/27/2017


Sounds of air horns and what appears to be thunder at the Williams Water Treatment Plant in the coming days should not be cause for alarm. As part of ongoing expansion and improvement work at the plant on Hillandale Road, construction crews will be using small explosive charges to break up embedded rock on the facility grounds. This controlled blasting work will take place on the far side of the main building/pump station from Hillandale Road, and will not cause traffic delays or pose any safety risks to surrounding homes and businesses. Extensive signage will be placed around the plant and at Hillandale Golf Course. It is also important to note this work will have no impact on drinking water quality or supply. A test plan is scheduled to begin Friday, 1/27, but this date may be delayed due to weather or other limiting factors.

The blasting process is expected to take about two weeks to complete, weather permitting. During this time, blasting will occur two to three times a week between Mondays and Fridays, and three explosive “shots” can be expected during each blasting day. These shots will take place during normal business hours. Although the explosives will be placed into holes about 25 feet below ground, residents of Watts Hospital-Hillandale Neighborhood Association can expect to hear or feel very minor sounds, similar in effect to distant thunder. A series of air horn warnings will accompany each blast. Horns will sound in the following order:

  • Three long signals of approximately four seconds each mark the five-minute warning.
  • Two short signals of approximately two seconds each mark the one-minute warning.
  • One long signal of approximately four to five seconds marks the “all clear.”

Because the explosive charges are so small, the horn signals likely will be louder than the blasts themselves. In addition to natural and manmade earthen berms surrounding the blasting area, each shot will be shielded by a massive blasting mat, constructed of several dozen layers of heavy-duty rubber tire treads. These mats absorb energy, suppress sound, and prevent fly rock and dust from escaping.

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