WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The recent boil advisory for Wichita was not connected to a previous problem.
However, that plant will take several more years to finish before it is up and running.
On Wednesday, city officials discussed the benefit of the new treatment plant. The current plant is 80 years old.
“We are the largest water provider in the entire state of Kansas and to continue to do that well, we not only have to update our plant and also make sure that we have the best people working for us, but also make sure that we have parts on hand so that we have as little interruption of service as possible,” said Mayor Brandon Whipple.
The deputy director of public works said the focus at the current water treatment plant is to keep it up and running.
“We have to keep staff on their toes, fully prepared [for] 24-hour day operations, and coverage for repairs, and then also we’ve got a lot of depth with outside consulting services that we can bring on board if we need to,” said Don Henry, the deputy director of public works and utilities at the City of Wichita.
And picking their battles.
“You have to pick your failures. You have to understand what can break and what you can fix on failure. what you have to stay out in front of, and you have a very aggressive maintenance plan,” said Henry.
The new $500 million water treatment plant is expected to be in around 2025 and will be able to treat 120 million gallons of water a day.
“The treatment process as far as line softening, the type of chemicals that we use, the type of filtration that we use, and the settling those will all be very similar to what we are doing now because our water sources are the same,” said Henry
When the new treatment plant opens, the city will use an outside group to test the water to add another layer of accountability.