New water plant to have customers seeing green

Bargersville’s new water plant is up and running after four years of planning, $20 million in costs and a few straight summers of nearly empty water towers and lawn-watering restrictions.

The new water treatment plant on Smokey Row Road in Morgan County can process about 6 million gallons of water a day, doubling the utility’s current capacity. The town-run utility would end up with enough capacity between the two plants to handle all the new homes and businesses that will be built in Bargersville and south White River Township for at least 10 to 15 years, utilities superintendent Kevin Killinger said.

Added capacity also should ensure that lawns won’t brown because the town will no longer have to ask residents to water their grass less often, even in a drought, Killinger said. The existing water plant on Smith Valley Road had been straining to keep up with demand for the last few summers, but the new plant will allow the utility to produce enough water to get residents through the hottest, driest weather, he said.

The existing plant will remain open to serve the densely populated White River Township area, while the new plant will allow development to continue farther south by enabling the water utility to hook on more homes and businesses. The two plants should combine to produce about 11 million gallons a day, or enough to ensure the utility can provide pressure to all fire hydrants after having issues in some areas in the past, Killinger said. Existing homes and businesses, plus already planned developments that have yet to be built, would use about 62 percent of that total capacity, so the utility should be able to support continued growth without having to make any more major investments for at least a decade, Killinger said.

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