A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction at your Water Treatment Plant. 

“When you really take the time and invest in something properly, you can have long-term, quality service, and that's what we did,” Mayor Michael Collins said. “It isn't about doing it fast and cheap, it's about doing it right because this is such a vital service to our community.” 

The Water Treatment Plant (WTP) was constructed in 1924. This was three years before Charles Lindbergh would cross the Atlantic Ocean. The population of Lewiston at that time was still under 9,000 people, yet the investment made at that time would bring Lewiston the modern infrastructure it would need to thrive as a growing community. In the 97 years of its operation, this facility has witnessed the City of Lewiston flourish and develop into the community that we know and love today. 

“Ninety-seven years of continuous operation takes generations of dedicated operators, and those staff members have done a tremendous job keeping the plant in working condition, especially for its age. Like any facility providing round-the-clock service this plant is aging and has lived beyond its useful life,” City of Lewiston Public Works Director Dustin Johnson said. 

Johnson continued to describe the appreciation he has for how amazing the water plant has been. “The ingenuity of the design and resourcefulness in how it has been maintained over all these years demonstrate how the City of Lewiston values the facilities they are responsible for,” Johnson said. 

In the end, time has finally caught up with aged equipment, pipes, and tanks. Staff can attest to the endless challenges they have faced every day just to keep things running. In just a few days, the plant will be shut down for the last time as staff prepares to make way for the new plant. 

“One-hundred years ago somebody had the fortitude to go out and hire quality contractors and engineers to build a quality plant to serve our community for many years into the future,” City Manager Alan Nygaard said. “Now, we have gone out and hired quality contractors and engineers to build a quality plant to serve our community for many years into the future.” Nygaard continued to say, “we look forward to the future, we invest in the future, and that is what all of this is about.” 

How are the upgrades being funded?

During the May 21, 2019 Special Revenue Bond Election, the voters of Lewiston passed two measures with roughly 90% approval, which allowed your City to borrow $42,000,000 needed to upgrade the water system and $29,181,000 for the wastewater system. 

The reason approval of these bonds was so important was because the City had qualified for a series of low-interest loans and grants to pay for project costs. Since the bonds were approved, the City was able to utilize the value of the revolving loan program administered by the State of Idaho at a very low-interest rate. This financing is saving customers more than $30 million, compared to pursuing higher-interest bonds on the open market, which is what would have been the other option if the measures had not passed. 

“The people of Lewiston entrusted the City to construct something that will bring us into the future,” Johnson said. “The new plant will bring Lewiston into the 21st century with modern technology that will help deliver clean water for decades to come.” 

The construction of a membrane treatment plant will be capable of treating 10 million gallons of water a day, with space to expand to 16.7 million gallons. The plant will treat surface water coming out of the Clearwater River more efficiently and to a higher standard than the current plant could ever accomplish. 

WTP Construction is scheduled to begin later this month with completion anticipated in spring 2023. 

Changes in water sources happen seasonally, as the City uses and blends water from seven different sources, including the WTP and six groundwater wells. The visible changes in water sources will be more significant during WTP construction. 

Current Water Treatment Plant:

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Future Water Treatment Plant:

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Upgrading the Water Treatment Plant is just one part of the overall project for updating the water system. Here’s a list of projects that are included: 

  1. Design and Construction of Well #7; New 2,100 Gallons Per Minute Well in South High Service Level with Expandable Capacity | Well 7 is Scheduled to be in Service in Spring 2022
  2. Design and Construction of Community Drive Reservoir; New Reservoir and Booster in Southeast Service Level 
  3. Design and Construction of Water Treatment Plant; Retrofit Existing Water Treatment Plant with 10 Million Gallons Per Day Membrane Filtration; Expandable to 16.7 Million Gallons Per Day 
  4. Condition Assessment, Design, and Construction of Water Intake System; Retrofit and Upgrade Existing Primary Permanent Surface Water Intake 
  5. Design and Construction of Main Street Transmission Replacement; Replacement of Water Main Installed in the 1900s 

City of Lewiston |

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