Indiana American Water Completes $23 Million Muncie Water Treatment Plant Project

(MUNCIE, Ind., August 31, 2020) – Indiana American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Company (NYSE: AWK), today joined Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour and a handful of community leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark completion of the second phase of a major upgrade to the company’s water treatment facility on the city’s southeast side.

The $23 million project replaced the existing White River intake and antiquated and obsolete raw water pumping facilities. It also included significant upgrades to the treatment and disinfection process that will help the company to meet new more stringent water quality regulations, reduce disinfection by-products in the finished drinking water, and enhance plant safety. 

“With the completion of these projects that enhance water quality, system reliability, safety, and efficiency, we are well positioned to meet the needs of this community and our next generation of customers,” said Indiana American Water Matt Prine. “We are committed to our Muncie customers, and these improvements will allow us to provide an even higher level of service to the community.”

To meet new, more stringent water quality regulations associated with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, the project included adding ultraviolet disinfection to the existing treatment process. When used to treat drinking water, UV disinfection provides an additional layer of protection against chlorine-resistant pathogens and microorganisms that could be present in surface water sources. The Muncie treatment facility uses both surface water and groundwater as its source of supply.

According to Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour, “Indiana American Water has a long history in Muncie and has always been a great partner to this community over the years. We appreciate their commitment to regularly investing in our water infrastructure and the role they have played in helping Muncie to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The project also significantly enhances safety for employees and nearby residents by switching from using gaseous chlorine and ammonia to produce chloramines to much safer liquid chemicals. The company will continue to use chloramines as a part of the treatment process but is including a new oxidant, which allows using less chorine at the beginning of the treatment process, further reducing disinfection by-products in treated drinking water.

A new chemical building that was constructed as part of the project further enhances safety at the water treatment plant by incorporating safer and more robust chemical containment and storage features.

The new raw water intake includes placing a new screen structure in the White River that uses bursts of air to automatically keep the intake free of debris and organic material present in the river. In-line sensors also alert plant employees of any potential water intake issues. The previous intake used a manual, mechanical process to clear the intake.

A new raw water pump station was also constructed to improve system reliability by replacing pumps and electrical equipment that, in many instances, had been in service for more than a half-century. The facility was moved to a slightly higher elevation, removing it from the 100-year flood zone for the White River and making it less susceptible to outages and damage from flooding.

The project utilized a design-build concept that brought together construction and design professionals in a collaborative effort to enhance the quality of the finished project and to more effectively control project costs. The design team of Gannett Fleming and Reynolds Construction designed and constructed the new facilities.

Indiana American Water has also recently invested an additional $14 million in its Muncie system to install new wells, make repairs and improvements at the Prairie Creek reservoir, install numerous automatic main flushing devices to lower disinfection by-products, and construct a new finished water pump station and a 1.25 million gallon underground water storage tank at the Muncie treatment facility.

The company has also invested more than $13 million to replace or relocate more than 12 miles of aging water mains in the Muncie area during the last seven years.

Indiana American Water serves approximately 27,000 customers in its Muncie service area or a population of nearly 75,000 people.