Water treatment plant in Washington County getting an upgrade

Posted at 5:55 PM, May 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-14 19:55:12-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah - An upgrade at the Quail Creek Water Treatment Plant aims to say ahead of future demand.

The population in Washington County is expected to grow by more than 30 percent in the next five years. It’s a projection that has water district managers worried about being able to provide for all those people.

“There’s a lot of people using water, washing their cars, drinking the water: all the things people need water for,” said Washington County Water Conservancy District associate general manager Corey Cram. “We have to provide that peak demand."

Currently, the treatment plant is capable of producing 48 million gallons of potable water per day, and the improvements will increase that capacity to 60 million.

The expansion doesn’t involve making the buildings bigger, but rather increasing the efficiency of the individual parts. Crews are working to replace output pipes, filter heads and filter material. It’s a small change that will make a big improvement.

“Changing some component, we can increase the amount of water that we’re able to produce,” Cram said.

Upgrading features has a significant cost savings as well. New facilities would cost approximately $3.60 per gallon capacity. This way, the water district is only spending $0.19 per gallon capacity.

Water is always on the minds of residents in Washington County. St. George resident Gordon Empey said he’s careful to only water at certain times a day and limits his indoor use. He’s glad something is being done to address those future needs.

“We will definitely run out of water,” Empey said. "Maybe not in my lifetime because I’m old, but in my kids’ and grandkids'.”

Cram said recent water activity also suggests homeowners are doing their part. During recent rainstorms, demand dropped almost 50 percent.