|Messenger photo by Linda Dillman|
|Canal Winchester Contract Services Administrator Bill Sims looks over piping in the village’s new Roy Crist Water Treatment Complex during a grand opening celebration on Oct. 26. The event capped off a year and a half construction cycle, which saw the development of new well fields, a supplemental connection with Pickerington, and the water treatment facility, which can process two million gallons of water a day for village residents.|
Bulbous blue tanks line a concrete pad as multi-colored pipes snake around and through the new Roy Crist Water Treatment Complex in Canal Winchester, which came in under budget and on time.
The village celebrated the grand opening of the plant, which can process up to two million gallons of water a day, on Oct. 26. With growth in mind, the system was designed for future expansion and a potential treatment capacity of four million gallons. The previous production capacity at the old plant-located across the parking lot from the new facility and still home to offices and a laboratory-was less than one million gallons a day.
"Isn’t it great when a vision and plan come together," said State Representative and Canal Winchester resident Larry Flowers. "As a former fire chief, I know how important water distribution is."
Benefits of the updated system include the ability to meet present water needs and expand the service area, afford the village better water quality, a more efficient operation with less staff hours needed, reduced maintenance, and less byproducts, as well as no lime sludge.
"We used to have lime sludge lagoons," said Bill Sims, contract services coordinator for Canal Winchester. "They were unsightly and we had to remove the byproduct off site. With the new system, we no longer have that byproduct. This system is much simpler to operate and has much less maintenance."
Mayor Jeff Miller said the construction of the new plant was a huge industrial project undertaken in a residential neighborhood, which still had to continue producing water until the valves were turned on at the new processing complex.
In addition to the new treatment complex, a new well field was drilled on the north side of U.S. Route 33, a 3,400-foot 16-inch raw water line connecting the well field to the plant was constructed, and a 3,500-foot 12-inch waterline on Busey Road was established as an emergency connection with Pickerington. The total cost for all phases of the project was $5.4 million, which Finance Director Nanisa Osborn said was approximately $400,000 under budget.
Canal Winchester’s original waterworks facility opened 90 years ago and was built at a cost of $30,000.
"About 60 years ago, when I was in elementary school, a teacher told us Canal Winchester sits on top of one of the largest (underground) lakes in Ohio," commented Council President John Bender, "and we’re still tapping into that lake 60 years later."