Roughly 10 percent of Parker’s water is now going through a state-of-the-art treatment plant near Rueter-Hess Reservoir.
After a few initial hiccups, including the failure of a pump and issues with the feeding of chemicals used to rid the water …
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After a few initial hiccups, including the failure of a pump and issues with the feeding of chemicals used to rid the water of impurities, the $50.7 million treatment plant opened in mid-July following three weeks of testing.
Soon after, a handful of Parker Water and Sanitation District officials took their first drink of water processed through the sophisticated system of pumps, pipes and filters.
“We wanted to make sure everything was solid before we sent it out through the system,” said Ron Redd, district manager for Parker Water. “It tasted good!”
Construction began in 2012 on the treatment plant, which has been billed as an integral part of shifting from a reliance on nonrenewable groundwater in aquifers to renewable surface water. It incorporates many of the newest technologies and eventually will be able to process 40 million gallons per day. The first phase of construction spawned a facility that can churn out about 10 million gallons of treated water per day.
The new treatment plant processes 1.5 million gallons of the 12-million-gallon average needed to satisfy daily summertime demands, Redd said.
A $50 million revenue bond approved by the Parker Water and Sanitation District’s board of directors in November 2010 covered the cost of construction, permits, engineering and the pipelines that move water in and out of the plant. The district secured a Build America Bond, which has a low interest rate and interest rebate, to help drive down costs. The loan, which was refinanced in 2012, is being repaid through tap fees from existing revenues and new users hooking into the system.
Four employees are based out of the treatment plant.
Construction crews are still installing a conference room, bathrooms, and finishing the front entrance. The work will be completed in late September and Parker Water will have a community open house in mid-October.
Approximately 20 percent of the total construction costs went toward ceramic filters that are more durable than traditional plastic filters and expected to last from 20-25 years.
“What’s different about this plant is it’s a fairly state-of-the-art facility,” Redd said. “It’s gathering a lot of attention from across the country and the world because of the technology we’re using. We’re anticipating lots of phone calls and (requests for) tours.”
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