Our response to the recent cyberattack on Florida water treatment plant

Modern urban wastewater treatment plant.

In wake of the events in Oldsmar, FL, there are concerns around the way water is treated, and understandably so. When hazardous chemicals are introduced into any process there is inherent danger. Tomco Systems prides itself in using a naturally occurring form of water treatment, carbon dioxide in the form of carbonic acid.

The most common chemical used in pH control is sulfuric acid (H2SO4). This corrosive acid is harmful to breath, touch, and most definitely to consume. Its characteristics keep it from buffering, allowing the water being treated to drop as low as a pH of 1 when overdosed. If this were to happen with no correction, there would be definite concern for health. Based on the low-cost nature of the design, it is feasible to believe an overdose could be possible with sulfuric acid. This is not the case with the Tomco Carbonic Acid feeder.

Carbonic acid is the makeup of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). When combined under specific temperature and pressure a mild liquid acid is formed. Such acids are used to reduce the high pH of water. A neutral pH is at 7. Carbonic acid, during its formation, creates a natural buffer around a pH of 5. This means even under the conditions of overdosing CO2 into the water the pH will automatically revert back to 5 or higher depending on the alkalinity of the water, protecting it from dangerously low pH levels. To put this into perspective, a can of soda has a typical pH of 2.5 and is ingested by people every day. This security is not the case with all pH controlling acids.

Our panels are designed with a flow range, focused on treating high, low, and nominal (average) flow conditions. Limitations on piping and orifice size through a number of valves prevent the flow of CO2 being able to come even close to dangerous levels. Our system is designed to be safe and efficient, preventing extremes in either direction and providing peace of mind.