St. Paul Regional Water Services, which serves 450,000 customers in St. Paul and most of the east metro, began work on substantial enhancements to its water treatment plant facility in Maplewood on Thursday.
The $250 million, four-year project, which would basically build a completely new plant adjacent to the old one, will be the water utility’s greatest capital investment ever.
Since 1920, the McCarrons Water Treatment Plant has been the utility’s main source of water, generating an average of 40 million gallons per day – enough water to cover a football field in 93 feet.
It’s one of 31 facilities in the country to receive the President’s Award from the Partnership for Safe Water, but as the facility approached its 100th birthday, St. Paul Regional Water Services and an appointed Board of Water Commissioners decided it was time for a major overhaul to bring in modern technology and prepare for future challenges.
For improved flavor, odor control, and disinfection, new lime-softening solids contact clarifiers, new recarbonation basins, and a new ozonation treatment process have been installed.
In a written statement, St. Paul Regional Water Services General Manager Patrick Shea said, “With more stringent regulations and the challenge of meeting the needs of a growing community, upgrading our water infrastructure reaffirms our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of public health today and well into the future.”
The project will be completed in stages, with demolition commencing this summer and building beginning later this year. The old structures will be destroyed and new laboratory and office spaces will be created once the new water treatment facility is operational. The final sitework and landscaping should be completed by 2026.
Jacobs, PCL Construction, and Magney Construction are leading the design-build team on the project. The utility’s consultants include Brown and Caldwell as well as Stantec.