Columbia Power plant plans to expand water laboratory

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Municipal Power Plant will undergo a $500,000 renovation to its current water testing laboratory. Although most of the technology within the lab will stay the same, plant officials say they hope to create a larger workspace.

The funding for the project comes from the Capital Improvement Plan, according to power production superintendent Christian Johanningmeier. 

He said there are two main functions for the new layout: electric production and water production testing.

The current laboratory got smaller after the power plant added employees from an office in McBaine.

"The lab we have here is very small and somewhat outdated.I'm not sure the techniques or the technology is outdated, but the space itself is outdated," Johanningmeier said.

Johanningmeier said the plant takes city water and treats it three more times to create a purer form of water necessary for energy production. It takes multiple tests throughout the day. 

The group hopes to start construction on the larger lab sometime this summer and have it finished by the end of the year.