MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 1, 2012

Plant repairs $7.5M

Wagoner water treatment plant work to fix problems that let to violations

WAGONER — Wagoner officials learned Thursday it will cost about $7.5 million to solve water plant problems that resulted in a violation of state standards.

Wagoner saw its water treatment plant break down last July, leaving thousands without water for nearly two days. The  Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality sent city officials a violation notice as a result.

“The DEQ at that time said you (Wagoner) have to have backup units to always maintain a necessary water supply, even at peak times,” said Jay Updike and engineer with Holloway Updike & Bellen, is the engineer chosen to handle whatever project the city ultimately chooses to fix the problem.

Updike gave a presentation to the Wagoner Public Works Authority, who discussed several project ideas at a special meeting Thursday evening.

The ODEQ has mandated the city to ensure a breakdown in one part of the water treatment plant doesn’t stop the water flow ever again.

Wagoner water customers will ultimately see higher water bills no matter which plan the Public Works Authority chooses.

Mayor James Jennings said Rural Water District #6 customers were not expected to see increases.

However, all other customers will see a $6 to $10 increase monthly in their water bills, depending on which project is chosen and what interest rate the city gets on its loan to fund the project, Updike said.

The Public Works Authority did not vote on the project or funding at Thursday’s meeting.

However, several options were discussed, with those acceptable to DEQ ranging from $7 million to $8.5 million to complete.

Updike recommended “Alternative #3,” with a projected cost of $7.5 million.

If the plan is chosen, much of the existing plant facilities will be utilized and/or upgraded, Updike said.

A new process building will be built, using technology much like Muskogee’s water treatment plant.

The new system will enable Wagoner to remove “organics” from the water more efficiently, will require less chemicals to treat the water and will cost less annually to run than the existing plant, Updike said.

Once a project is chosen and funding obtained, the projected completion date is some time in April 2016.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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