HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Utilities began work on its new Greenfield water treatment plant, the most expensive project it has ever undertaken, according to constructionequipmentguide.com.

The $83.5 million facility will be located on a 266-acre site, stated the article. It will treat 12 million gallons of drinking water every day when finished in March 2018.

“Demand for water from our system is regularly reaching 80 percent of our capacity,” said Joe Gehrdes, director of communications and public relations for Huntsville Utilities, in the article. “With water systems, 80 percent capacity demand tells you additional capacity is needed to [ensure] the supply can continue accommodating demand, while also providing for growth. Discussion and design began after demand crossed that threshold. It really just took that much time to put a project of this magnitude together.”

Founded in 1823, Huntsville Waterworks was the state’s first public water system, noted the article. The utility is now publicly owned and serves 90,000 customers in the county.

“A safe water supply is a foundational requirement for any community. We must be able to supply safe drinking water with the necessary capacity to provide what our community needs now and in the future,” continued Gehrdes in the article. “We are incorporating state-of-the-art security equipment into this project. Security is a very important aspect of any water supply.

Municipal bonds support the project, reported the article. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor, while Tetra Tech Inc. is overseeing the work.

Tetra Tech and Huntsville Utilities directed a year-long study of the source water before conducting pilot tests of several treatment technologies, noted the release. They chose to use “conventional treatment processes with the addition of granular activated carbon.”

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