New water treatment plant proposed in Evansville

14 News took a tour inside Evansville's water treatment facility

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Evansville Water and Sewer Utility is proposing construction of a new water treatment plant.

Officials at Tuesday’s Water and Sewer board meeting said there will need to be a potential rate increase to replace the current waterworks plant that was first built in 1897.

Officials with EWSU said they’ve been making significant improvements to the system for the last decade.

The focus has been mainly on the distribution system, but officials said what has been neglected is the most important part of this system - where the water is treated.

So what’s needed? Officials said over the next five years, they’re proposing an increase to monthly water rates with the highest monthly rate increase no higher than $3.47.

”What our customers can expect is over the next five years so 2022 through 2026, for an average customer that used 5,000 gallons at a residence, their bill will never go over $3.47 per month. So by the end of the five years they will see their bill compared to what it is today, be $15.82 higher,” Lane Young, the Executive Director of Evansville Water and Sewer Utility said.

That money would fund the nearly $178 million new water treatment plant.

Officials are proposing the new plant be built right across Waterworks Road where the city garage is located, so the plan also includes relocating the city garage.

So why is this necessary?

The facility and pipes housing and cleaning the water we use are showing some age, particularly in the most important areas.

”We’ve had 10 expansions of this footprint at some point there’s no more that you can do. So we really need a new plant and that’s what’s driving this. I think we’ve gotten everything we can out of this current facility,” Young said.

So let’s say the proposal doesn’t pass, officials say there could be consequences down the line.

”There are potential spots like that in our clear wells as well, places where the concrete down deep in the ground, those things could fail and now we’re not able to get that water out into the system,” Young said.

There will be a public hearing on April 20 for anyone to come and voice their concerns at the next utility board meeting.

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