The City of Somerset Water Treatment Plant (WTP) has undergone a variety of upgrades throughout the years to ensure the citizens served by the facility receive high quality, reliable water service. Previous upgrades have included improvements to both capacity and treatment methods including an upgrade from 4.5 million gallons per day (mgd) to 6 mgd conventional and 6 mgd conventional to 10 mgd combined conventional/super pulsator. The current WTP project is an upgrade/expansion which will increase the capacity from 10 mgd to 16 mgd utilizing membrane filtration. The project has been designed to allow for future expansion to 20 mgd on the existing site. To date, all upgrades have taken place on the existing site.
Somerset Water Treatment Plant Interior
Providing quality service while still maintaining affordability has been a key goal throughout this project. In 2006, planning and development began to identify capacity and technology needs while also determining how to pay for the upgrades with minimal impact on customers. The Somerset Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project is funded through multiple sources with the largest portion represented by a $20 million RD grant and loan package. The project is currently the largest American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) water project in the United States.
The City of Somerset held a groundbreaking ceremony November 15, 2011, to mark the beginning of the project. Dignitaries in attendance at the event included Mayor Eddie Girdler, City of Somerset; Judge Executive Barty Bullock, Pulaski County, and Vernon Brown, Rural Utilities Service Program Director. The event was also attended by Somerset council members and other community and utility representatives, several representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Dale Wilson, Vice President of Judy Construction Company.