Construction is underway on a multimillion-dollar water treatment plant in Topsham.
The $29.4 million project, located next to the Jackson Station plant at 266 River Road, is expected to be completed by June 2022.
The district commissioned a study in 2012 that recommended replacing the facility by 2025, after they found levels of disinfection by-products (DBSs) were increasing in the water.
“Since 2015, we have been having trouble meeting some of the water quality regulations specifically for the DBPs,” said Brunswick and Topsham Water District General Manager Craig Douglas.
The current treatment plant was built in 1971, and the filters have been replaced just once, in 1989.
“Most of the building systems are at the end of their lives. The current facility is breaking down, so we decided to build a new water treatment plant,” Douglas said.
Though the planning for the project began in 2016, the construction of the new plant started in 2020.
Work at the new treatment plant is in full swing. The interior walls are near completion, floors are getting ready, and engineers are designing a program to run the new filters. In addition, 11 new filters were installed at the plant last month.
“We have five water filters at the current plant which are old and are not effective in removing organic carbon from the water, because of which we have been running a lot of water to waste in the system,” said Douglas. “These filters are breaking down, and we had to replace valves for one of the filters.”
According to Douglas, the new filters will help treat the water with less chlorine and improve the water quality, which is essential as disinfection by-products form when chlorine, used for disinfection, combines with naturally occurring organic matter.
The new treatment plant will produce 4 million gallons of water per day. In 2019, the water district delivered an average of 2.26 million gallons of water per day to customers.
“How much water we produce varies from season to season. We produce more water on a hot summer day, and in winter, we see a lot less water use, so we bury our production to meet the demands in the system or the community even better,” said Douglas.
Meanwhile, the district officials plan to conduct an open house sometime next year for the general public to see the new facility once it’s up and running.