Utility ponders new sources of water as drought, population growth strain supply system

August 6, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Water, United States, Daily Email Recap

This story comes from Indianapolis, Indiana, where they are considering discharging treated sewer water upstream from city’s intake portals so as to increase intake supply. Indianapolis has added roughly 230,000 people since 2000 and now stands at about 1.75 million.

Utility ponders new sources of water as drought, population growth strain supply system

CHRIS O’MALLEY  Indianapolis Business Journal, August 02, 2012



INDIANAPOLIS – Imagine a pipe carrying water pumped from under the Ohio River, in southeastern Indiana, that runs all the way to Indianapolis.

Or how about building a pipeline running 60 miles west, to pull millions of gallons a day from the Wabash River?

Picture those and you’ll get an idea of what Citizens Water engineers have been pondering for the years ahead as Indiana’s largest metro area struggles with drought and population growth that have strained its water supply.

“Forty to 50 million gallons per day is the (additional) long-term need, perhaps as early as five years out,” said Lindsay Lindgren, vice president of water operations at Citizens. Tapping new water sources outside the White River watershed isn’t likely to happen for at least 10 years. For one thing, building pipelines would be costly: $500 million to $750 million, according to 2010 estimates by the utility.

Citizens won’t pursue such expensive public works projects until it has exhausted other options for increasing the local water supply. Those vary from stepping up conservation programs to dredging existing reservoirs to free up more storage capacity. It could also acquire new places to store water for use when needed, such as gravel pits and quarries. And the utility might build a new water intake on the White River, south of the city.

Those who gripe about water taste will love this near-term idea: Take “highly treated” wastewater from the Belmont water treatment plant and pipe it north – releasing it upstream of Citizens’ existing water intake on the White River. Hard to swallow, perhaps, but reusing treated wastewater currently discharged downstream could be done on the cheap, at around $20 million to $25 million.

That same treated wastewater could be used to “recharge” other streams that lead to water intakes. It could also be used to recharge existing or future well fields from which Citizens draws water. What’s used for drinking water would be treated before it arrived at one’s tap, of course.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/0819755ee003495f99ee0029649efa69/IN–Exchange-Tapping-into-Water

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