Investing In Our Communitites
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that approximately $277 billion of capital spending will be needed between 2003 and 2022 to replace aging water infrastructure and comply with stricter water quality standards, and the USEPA estimates that approximately $388 billion will be needed between 2000 and 2019 to replace aging wastewater infrastructure. We intend to invest capital prudently to enable us to continue to provide essential services to our regulated water and wastewater utility customers. Investing in our infrastructure is critical to our mission of serving our customers quality and reliable water and wastewater service.
We have a strong and ongoing commitment to investing in infrastructure and keeping it updated and we are committed to delivering excellent service that our customers depend upon at an exceptional value. Tap water costs about a penny a gallon - a remarkable value compared to any other utilities today. With few exceptions, water service remains the lowest utility bill that a household will pay.
In fact, in Indiana, we have invested $215 million in the past 5 years (2003-2007) and we have plans to invest about $360 million in the next 5 years (2008-2012). This investment will help us continue to provide high quality water and wastewater service. Every year, we deliver system improvements to the communities we serve – from extending water mains to replacing meters and hydrants to upgrading plant equipment. We also invest in major projects to improve service to customers.
In Kokomo, a new two-million gallon per day (mgd) well field and water treatment facility began operation in December 2006. The new $7.0 million plant is operated by state-of-the-art computerized systems from the existing plant. The plant is expandable to four mgd as future needs dictate.
More than $24 million in improvements are completed or underway in the Northwest Indiana District, which serves Gary and several surrounding cities. Specific area projects include water treatment plant improvements, including rebuilding filters, upgrading electrical systems, and improving chemical feeding systems – all of which will improve service reliability to customers. A new one million gallon elevated water storage tank was recently constructed in Portage improving system pressures and fire flows and helping to support local economic development. And, more than $7.5 million in water pumping station and transmission main improvements are in progress to help meet the growth projected in the cities of Merrillville, Shorewood, Winfield, Crown Point and Schererville.
Two new groundwater treatment plants will provide better water quality with additional treatment at an existing wellfield and at a proposed new wellfield in West Lafayette. The $35 million project will improve capacity, fire flows and reliability to the northern growth area of the system.
A new groundwater treatment facility is also in progress for the Johnson County Operation. The $19.2 million project will initially provide an additional 4 mgd of supply, and will be readily expandable. The facility is located such that it will eventually provide additional source of supply to the Shelbyville operation. The new facility will provide additional capacity and reliability of source of supply to both operations.
In Terre Haute, two major projects are planned including the construction of a new groundwater treatment facility, and the construction of a major pipeline and booster station to consolidate multiple pressure zones, enabling more efficient utilization of existing storage and transmission capacity. Combined, the projects total more than $11.5 million.
We are committed to delivering excellent service that our customers depend upon at an exceptional value. Tap water costs about a penny a gallon - a remarkable value compared to any other utilities today. With few exceptions, water service remains the lowest utility bill that a household will pay.