Indiana American Water Company, a subsidiary of American Water Company (NYSE: AWK), today joined Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges, community leaders and project partners at a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate completion of a new $16 million water treatment plant in Charlestown, Ind. The project significantly improves water quality by filtering iron and manganese from the groundwater source, enhances system reliability and the flow of water for fire protection, and switches the operation from using chlorine gas to a much safer liquid form of chlorine know as sodium hypochlorite to disinfect water during the treatment process.
“The completion of this new water treatment plant is a significant milestone for the City of Charlestown and our customers here,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “We promised when we purchased this system in 2019 that we would address the long-standing issue of high manganese levels and discolored water that has plagued the system for decades, and this new facility helps us to deliver on that commitment.
“Prior to this project, we had already invested more than $11 million in the community’s aging water infrastructure, performed much needed maintenance, made significant process improvements to the system, and even placed a temporary filtration unit online last year to provide some incremental improvement to water quality until the new treatment facility was completed,” said Prine.
“Manganese and iron are now being removed by the treatment facility so it is no longer entering the water distribution system,” Prine continued, “however some customers will likely see occasional instances of discolored water as we work this fall to flush sediment from our water mains and tanks that has built up over the last several decades in the distribution system. Once the work is completed, we expect to see even better water quality at the tap.”
The treatment plant project included adding filtration to the treatment process, improvements to pumping equipment to increase the flow of water and enhance fire protection capabilities, and switching from using gaseous chlorine to sodium hypochlorite, a much safer liquid disinfectant.
“These improvements are a key part of Charlestown’s plans to ensure that we offer a high quality of life for our residents as we strive to meet our growth potential in the years ahead,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “Clean, reliable and safe drinking water is an important quality of life issue, and I am excited that Indiana American Water has followed through on their commitment to address the long-standing issue of discolored water in Charlestown.”
This major water quality improvement continues Indiana American Water’s commitment to improving the Charlestown water system that started when it acquired the system in March 2019. Other system enhancements that have been made since the acquisition include adding automatic flushing devices to improve water quality where dead-end mains are located in the system, replacing or retiring more than 150 fire hydrants, and installing new backup power generating equipment that has already kept water flowing during several system power outages.
The treatment plant was designed and constructed through a collaborative partnership with Bowen Engineering and Mott MacDonald to enhance the finished project, more effectively control project costs, and speed up the timeline for completion.
Indiana American Water serves approximately 3,000 customers in Charlestown, or approximately 8,000 residents.
Press release provided by Indiana American Water.
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