In the early 1980’s, the City of Hutchinson discovered a groundwater contamination problem with one of their primary water supply wells. The city partnered with Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) to research the options to treat the contaminated water. The engineer and the owner decided to construct a reverse osmosis water treatment facility. Reverse osmosis cleans the water at a molecular level. Then the output is blended with well water to produce a higher quality, better tasting soft water.
The new plant, completed in April 2009, is a full scale, automated reverse osmosis treatment facility capable of producing 10 million gallons of drinking water per day to meet current and future projected needs. The treatment equipment creates a blended 60%-40% mix of RO treated water and untreated water from the supply wells. The new $15,700,000 facility includes several distinct components to meet the requirements for treatment, blending, distribution and wastes. All of these components are located at the same site and are automatically controlled with on-line water quality instrumentation, a centralized computer, and a radio telemetry system.
Other aspects of the new plant include wet-well reservoirs with a 50,000 gallon capacity, vertical turbine pumps on variable frequency drives, pressure filters, a degasification tower, chemical feed systems, and state-of-the-art on-line instrumentation to monitor the pretreatment, RO membrane, and post-stabilization processes.