Indiana American Water Completes $45 Million Richmond Water Treatment Plant Upgrade
(RICHMOND, Ind., August 13, 2020) – Indiana American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Company (NYSE: AWK), joined Richmond Mayor David Snow and a handful of community leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, August 12, 2020 in Richmond, Ind. to celebrate completion of a new water treatment facility.
The $45 million project includes construction of a new water treatment facility to replace the two existing treatment facilities located on the city’s northeast side, one near the Middlefork Reservoir and one near the East Fork of the White River. The new facility will improve water quality and help the company to meet new, more stringent water quality regulations, reduce disinfection by-products in the finished drinking water and enhance plant safety.
“The Whitewater Valley’s plentiful water resources have played an important role in the development and continued success of the area over the last two centuries,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “We have continued to upgrade our infrastructure over the years in this community, and these investments will help us to take our water quality, service and reliability to a new level of excellence.”
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 Richmond treatment facility uses both surface water and groundwater as its source of supply.
The project also significantly enhances safety for employees and nearby residents by switching from using gaseous chlorine to sodium hypochlorite, a much safer liquid disinfectant, to produce chloramines, which has been used at the plant since 2011. The new design will also improve the effectiveness of the use of sodium permanganate, a chemical which allows using less chorine at the front 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 will further enhance safety at the water treatment plant by incorporating safer and more robust chemical containment and storage features.
The project also included construction of a 20” transmission main to transport water from the company’s Main Station site for treatment at the new Middlefork facility and replacement of a pumping station on the city’s east side. Construction at the Middlefork site also included adding a filter backwash water recycling facility and a new on-site ground storage tank for finished drinking water.
Indiana American Water serves nearly 16,000 customers in its Richmond service area or a population of more than 40,000 people.