WaterOne celebrated the successful completion of its new Ozone Treatment Facilities with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 28th. The event was attended by WaterOne’s Board and employees, as well as representatives from Black & Veatch, Garney Construction, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
“It has been a long road getting here, so I’m glad to be able to celebrate this project,” said Board Chair Brenda Cherpitel in her remarks at the event. “The Board has established a clear mission for WaterOne: that is to provide a safe, reliable, high quality water supply with exceptional service and value. This new facility hits the mark on each of these statements.”
Ozone, a powerful oxidant, is a safe, effective, and natural method for treating water. Following the completion of the facility, ozone is now the primary means of disinfection at WaterOne’s Hansen Treatment Plant. The new facility has already continued WaterOne’s winning streak of regional and national Best Tasting Water awards. In 2021, WaterOne was declared “America’s Best Tasting Drinking Water” in a nation-wide contest sponsored by the National Rural Water Association (NRWA), and was also judged a five-time winner of the “Best Tasting Water In Kansas” award by the Kansas Section of the American Water Works Assocation (KsAWWA).
The concept for the facility was originally discussed during a 2003 Master Plan study, which foresaw ozone as a potential future enhancement to WaterOne’s treatment process. It was later determined that implementing ozone would lead to significant operational cost savings, reduce WaterOne’s carbon footprint, and be a more effective treatment for pharmaceuticals and emerging contaminants in the source water. Ground was broken on the new facility in 2017, and testing and regulatory approval concluded in 2021.
“A project like this is a major undertaking that requires time, a lot of hard work, and careful planning,” said Director of Production Michelle Wirth. “After four years of construction and testing running simultaneously with the current treatment process, the project was really an all-hands on deck situation for every part of the organization. What a privilege and honor to be able to say that WaterOne is now using ozone as its primary means of disinfection at Hansen Treatment Plant."