New upgrades to Jefferson City water plant

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri American Water is making changes to the aging Jefferson City Treatment Plant with the goal of improving the purification process and ensuring customers always have drinkable water.

The Jefferson City Water Treatment Plant is a 6.5 million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, which takes water from the Missouri River and serves 11,000 customers in the Jefferson City area.

Upgrades to the plant have been happening throughout 2017 and should be completed in  February 2018.

"It's going to slow down the treatment process and allow the work that we do to clean the water more time to do its job," said Brian Russell, Manager of External Affairs.

The upgraded plant will include a new 64-foot presedimentation basin and a new lime storage and feed system.

Chief Operator Curtis Wheat said the plant uses lime softening to make the water drinkable.

"The new lime system will give us more redundancy and more reliability," he said.

The plant will have more water overall, and Wheat said that will help improve water quality.

"We can take another basin out of service for another maintenance and not lose the amount of detention time," Wheat said. "So our chemicals get the full affect in the water."

Customers won't see a change in the taste of their water, he said.
Workers at the plant taste and test samples of the water to make sure it is up to drinking standards.
The plant is a part of the Partnership for Safe Drinking Water. The Partnership recognizes water suppliers that achieve water treatment standards that surpass EPA requirements. Fewer than one percent of water utilities in the U.S. have achieved that recognition. 
Drinking water is about 99 percent clean by the end of the process, Russell said.
Wheat said, "What we've done here is we've just upgraded our aging infrastructure to benefit the customers for next several years to come."