The William Caver Water Treatment Plant will be expanded in 2021, retiring Plant A in place after 117 years of service.
Owensboro Municipal Utilities (OMU) is set to open its expanded William Cavin Water Treatment Plant sometime in 2021, according to Messenger-Inquirer.
The Cavin plant opened in 1994, built with future expansion in mind. Plant A will retire in place no earlier than fall 2021, as the Cavin plant will no longer need the capacity from Plant A, reported Messenger-Inquirer. Retiring in place will require crushing and leveling basins, installing a fence around the clear wells and emptying and securing all buildings.
"We couldn't just decommission and walk away from the entire site because we do have wells in that area," said OMU spokeswoman Sonya Dixon.
The retire in place project costs $300,000, which was the cheapest three options that were considered. The other two options were $8.2 million for full demolition and $16 million for the replacement of Plant A and building a new well field.
Plant A has structural problems and an aging pipe system that resulted in two major water main breaks in less than a year, according to Messenger-Inquirer.
"We had noticed some settling in (Plant A) some time ago and began to monitor it," Dixon said. "But even before the issues with the mains, we were working on both a plan for the expansion of the Cavin plant and for securing the funding for that. The main breaks just solidified that it was a good decision."
The expansion will increase OMU's water capacity from 28 million gal to 30 million gal. The Cavin plant will have three separate treatment trains, each capable of holding 10 million gal of water. The city's peak is about 18 million gpd, reported Messenger-Inquirer.