West Virginia American Water Announces Completion of $25 Million Upgrade to Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant

Charleston, W.Va. (Aug. 16, 2022) – West Virginia American Water announced today the completion of a $25 million upgrade to its Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant in Charleston. The treatment plant, which serves approximately 85,000 customers in parts of Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Logan, Lincoln, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Roane, Jackson, and Mason counties, now provides ultra-violet (UV) disinfection and utilizes sodium hypochlorite in lieu of gaseous chlorine.

“We know many have seen the flurry of activity and construction happening at our Kanawha Valley treatment plant over the last 18 months. We’re incredibly pleased to share several upgrades to the plant that have been successfully operational since December 2021,” said Robert Burton, president of West Virginia American Water. “This water treatment plant is the largest in West Virginia, and it now offers the most robust technology for disinfection of any treatment plant in the state.”

Construction on upgrades at the treatment plant began in November 2020 following new regulatory requirements from the U.S. EPA for treatment of cryptosporidium in surface water systems. The Kanawha Valley plant had long been successfully treating water for cryptosporidium, but with the inclusion of UV disinfection, the plant now offers a 99.99% confidence level in removing cryptosporidium from its raw water. The Kanawha Valley water system is now the first in West Virginia to provide UV disinfection as part of is treatment process.

“We have always focused on the health and safety of our customers through rigorous testing of our water throughout the treatment process,” said Billie Suder, Sr. Manager of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance at West Virginia American Water. “We can confidently say that our finished water had always been free of cryptosporidium, but we are now providing an extra level of protection to our customers through this UV process.”

In addition to UV, the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant also converted from gaseous chlorine to sodium hypochlorite, also known as liquid chlorine, as part of its disinfection process. The conversion was not driven by a regulatory requirement but rather a safety measure for West Virginia American Water’s employees and the surrounding community. The Kanawha Valley system is the second within West Virginia American Water to convert to sodium hypochlorite, and all systems are planned to be converted to liquid chlorine over the next eight years.

“Sodium hypochlorite provides the same level of disinfection as our previous gaseous chlorine compound,” said Suder. “We’re providing our customers with the highest level of disinfection for their drinking water, and we’re keeping the safety of our employees and community at the forefront with this conversion.”

West Virginia American Water partnered with local contractor Oval Construction on the significant upgrades to the treatment plant, and over 50 West Virginia businesses and suppliers were utilized for various aspects of the project.

About West Virginia American Water

West Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 560,000 people. 

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and Follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


West Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 560,000 people. For more information, visit and follow West Virginia American Water on Twitter and Facebook.