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Roswell breaks ground on new water plant


$15M plant replaces aging site



water_plant_groundbreak
Roswell officials broke ground on the new water plant May 5 on Dobbs Drive. JONATHAN COPSEY/Staff. (click for larger version)
May 07, 2014
ROSWELL, Ga. – Roswell broke ground May 5 on a new water plant, designed to replace the one that currently services the roughly 18,000 Roswell residents who use the city for water.

Construction is expected to be completed late next year. In addition to the plant on Dobbs Drive, the city will add a new raw water intake, a raw water storage tank and a water plant operations building.

"The key was to find a way to provide the service in an economically efficient way," said Stuart Moring, director of environmental / public works. "With a bigger plant, we can produce more water for virtually the same costs. Economies of scale bring it down."

After nearly 80 years of service, Roswell's old water plant could no longer efficiently and cost-effectively produce water for the city's customers because older technology is very labor intensive for both operations and repair. The new plant is expected to reduce the city's water production costs and is forecasted to save $11.6 million over a 20-year period. The savings come from reduced water purchases from Fulton County and reduced costs to repair and refurbish the old equipment in the 80-year-old plant.

When Roswell's customers' demands outstrip its ability to provide water, the city purchases the difference from the county at a much higher cost. By reducing the need to buy water, Roswell should reduce costs as well, officials say. Currently, the city's annual bill with the county is $500,000.

The new plant is expected to pump about 3 million gallons of water a day, while the existing plant maxed out at 1.2 million gallons.

The new plant will cost approximately $15 million to build. The city has obtained a 20-year loan to pay for the new facility. Because of the city's good finances, its AAA bond rating and its designation as a WaterFirst Community, the loan was secured at a low interest rate of 1.4 percent.

Roswell water covers most of the historic district, including Canton Street and City Hall.

RN 05-08-14

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