Fairmont Water Plant Upgrades Improve Public Health Protections

The State Journal
20 August 2012

Federal, state and local officials marked completion Aug. 20 of major improvements to the Fairmont Water Filtration Plant that will provide added drinking water protections and promote economic investment in the area.

The $12.1 million upgrade was largely financed with $8.8 million in federal funds awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including $4.4 million from the federal Recovery Act.

"The improvements to this plant are a prime example of how the Recovery Act and other federal funds are making a positive difference every day in our communities and lives," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.

"Not only are we creating a facility to meet current and future water demands, we're also opening the door to additional economic investment in this area – bringing permanent jobs and positive impacts to the local and regional economy," Garvin said.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the plant, Garvin also acknowledged Fairmont officials for a national Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Sustainable Public Health Protection Award for furthering the goal of clean and safe water through exceptional planning, management and finance.  Fairmont was nominated for the award by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Fairmont's water filtration plant is the fourth-largest publicly owned water utility in West Virginia, providing water service to approximately 50,000 customers, including more than 13,500 direct customers in Fairmont as well as resale customers in 10 municipalities in four surrounding counties.

The plant's upgraded water treatment process now fully uses membrane technology, which provides nearly 100percent protection against waterborne pathogens and produces high quality, safe drinking water.

The upgrades to the handling of waste material at the plant will eventually eliminate effluent discharge into nearby surface water, thereby decreasing the demand on the downstream Fairmont Wastewater Treatment Plant and providing additional environmental benefits.

For information on EPA's Recovery Act projects, visit http://www.epa.gov/recovery/.