Where are they on that project: OMU water treatment plant expansion

Local News

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) A project designed to expand and upgrade water service for OMU customers goes on.

Contractors are expanding the Cavin Water Treatment Plant on the city’s east side.

Below the surface at Cavin Water Treatment Plant, contractors are setting the foundation for expanded water service across owensboro.

“There’s a lot more facility below ground,” says OMU G.M. Kevin Frizzell.

OMU officials say about 30% of the construction is done on the expansion, which includes the addition of two more clarifying basins, two 10 million gallon a day trains, and a new lime treatment system. They’re also adding a new two-and-a-half million gallon water tank.

“When they built this plant in the early 1990s, it started up in 1994, the engineers and OMU’s management at that time, knew that at some point in the future, we would need additional capacity,” says Frizzell.

Contractors started seven months ago, and are building foundations and pilings. Project Manager Russ Evans says its still on schedule despite heavy rains from earlier this summer.

“The progress has been great, even with the rain we’ve received in June and July. They’ve done a good job keeping the water under control,” Evans says.

The expanded plant will replace Plant A, which was built in the early 20th century. It was where two major water main breaks happened in 2017 and last year, leading to city wide boil advisories. Frizzell says the expansion will reduce the risk of future water main breaks.

“We have old cast iron piping that serves that plant, comes from that plant, so we’re not going to be eliminating all the cast iron in our system by any stretch, but that piping that’s at the plant where we’ve had our major water breaks will be out of our system and will not be a risk anymore,” says Frizzell.

Once finished, the plant’s capacity will go to 30 million gallons a day. The expansion is still expected to be done by spring of 2021, with the new additions running by the following summer

“Our goal is when we turn this plant on, that the customer never sees the difference. The customer will get the same high quality of water that they’ve always gotten from us,” says Frizzell.

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(This story was originally published on September 10, 2019)

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