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The exterior of the Athens Water Treatment Plant, located at 395 W. State St. (FILE)

Public works announces $6 million project to improve drinking water

The City of Athens Public Water System is launching a $6 million effort to make improvements to the water treatment plant.

An issue with a water pump began last Tuesday, spurring ongoing instances of air in water lines, according to a press release by Engineering and Public Works in Athens. 

“We are trying to solve this as quickly as we can,” Shawn Beasley, the plant manager at the Athens Water Treatment Plant, said.

The water levels have changed in the the final clear well at the water treatment plant, causing microscopic air bubbles to make the water look milky. It is still safe to drink. 

The current pumps are 50 years old, Beasley said. Along with replacing the pumps, the Water Treatment Plant Improvements Project will include replacing controls, electronic equipment and valves with all-new equipment at the City of Athens Water Treatment Plant. There will also be energy efficient upgrades including a 195 kilowatt solar array. 

Beasley said the project is anticipated to be completed sometime between August and October, and they are working on getting most of the work done while Ohio University students are gone.

According to the press release, the project will modernize the plant and ensure high-quality drinking water to the citizens of Athens for years. 


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