Missouri American Water Central Plant's $11 million project is replacing aging switchgear to provide electrical power to pumps.
Missouri American Water Central Plant in Chesterfield is replacing aging switchgear to provide electrical power to pumps.
The company is building a new high service switchgear, which provides six pumps on the site with starting power and serves as a fuse box for the pumps, according to KNAX.
The $11 million project will continue through December 2020 and is designed to prevent interruptions in water service to customers. The upgrades also aim to ensure safer operation and maintenance of the treatment plant.
“Our Central Treatment Plant originally dates back to 1902, and we have to continually invest in it to maintain safety and reliability as it ages,” said Debbie Dewey, president of Missouri American Water. “Losing power at our largest treatment plant, which serves about 60% of our customers in St. Louis County, would have a huge impact on the region because we can’t pump water without power. Our customers depend on the safety and availability of the water we provide, which is why this project is so important.”
The current high service pump starters and switchgear were installed in 1968 and are nearing the end of their useful life, reported KNAX. Parts for repairing the existing gear are also challenging to obtain.
“The switchgear deals with high levels of electricity and has a safety and protection function to limit the amount of damage in case of a short circuit or fault,” said Derek Linam, engineering manager for Missouri American Water. “In the event of a fault, the new gear is expected to operate reliably and quickly, limiting fires and potential damage to pumps and nearby facilities.”
The plant provides water and wastewater services to approximately 1.5 million people.