Construction of a for Milford should begin by March, and the new facility will offer state-of-the-art techniques for purifying surface water.
What it will not do is increase capacity, said David Condrey, the general manager.
The new plant, recently approved by state and local environmental authorities, will pump up to five million gallons a day, the same capacity as the existing water treatment plant, which dates to the 1970s. This means that should a casino be constructed in Milford, the Milford Water Company's plant would not have the extra capacity to service it, Condrey said, except perhaps for fire protection.
"We do not have the extra capacity to feed the casino," Condrey said.
What the new plant will do is allow the private utility to better manage its existing sources of surface water. "The new plant is going to be designed so it can handle all of the sources, any time of the year," Condrey said.
The new design will feature a diffused air filtration system, which will automatically filter all sources combined in one chamber. A portion of this now takes place, but is not computer-automated. The existing process also consumes a lot of water.
The new plant will recycle the majority of water used in the treatment of drinking water. The new design also will incorporate the carbon filtering that is now taking place through two recently-dug sand and carbon filters beside the Dilla Street plant. are designed to reduce organic materials entering the water supply, which reduces the need for disinfection that can create contaminants in the water. This should all improve taste, color and odor, Condrey said.
A contract for the $15.5 million plant is expected to be awarded by March. Bids are due at the end of January.
The new plant will take shape on existing property at the Dilla Street location. Its lagoons will be located near the Milford Upper Charles Trail, but the design itself is utilitarian. It will be a box-like industrial building.
The design has been used previously in Weymouth and in Johnston, RI., Condrey said.
The plant is expected to be operating by May 2013.