The City of Wapakoneta has been producing quality drinking water since 1895. A water treatment plant, above ground storage tank, and water distribution network were constructed to provide the residents of Wapakoneta with clean, safe drinking water. The original water treatment plant is located on East Harrison Street just west of the railroad tracks. The original above ground storage tank was constructed on North Blackhoof Street, and served Wapakoneta for over 110 years, before its decommissioning and demolition in 2007. Major improvements were made to the water treatment plant in 1933, and again in 1955, and 1985. The original water treatment plant is still present, but was taken out of production in 2011.
From 1895 to the present, the City’s raw water supply has come from a series of drilled gravel wells. Five of these wells are drilled into bedrock and are considered limestone deep wells. These five wells are set in aquifers drilled up to 300 feet deep. Two of the wells are sand and gravel wells. The sand and gravel wells are only drilled into a sand and gravel vein at a depth of approximately 75 feet. The seven wells are located in two different well fields.
The existing distribution system consists of three elevated storage tanks. A 500,000 gallon tank, built in 1957, is located on Maple Street. A 750, 000 gallon tank, built in 1989, is located on Defiance Street at Redskin Trail. A 1,500,000 gallon tank was built in 1999, it is located on Commerce Drive, South of US 33.
The transmission of water through the distribution system is accomplished by a network of 60 miles of water mains ranging in size from 2-inch to 20-inches in diameter, with the pipe material consisting of Cast Iron, PVC, and Transite waterline.
The Water Treatment Process
Raw water is pumped from the wells to the induced updraft aerators where oxidation of the iron and manganese takes place. After aeration, the water enters a settling basin prior to entering the plant and flowing through rapid sand filters. Although some oxidized iron and manganese will precipitate in the settling basin, the major portion is removed during filtration. After being filtered, the water is sent to a below ground storage tank (wetwell). The water is then pumped by low service pumps through the ion exchange softening units. During the ion-exchange process, the brine solution, which contains sodium (salt) is introduced during the regeneration cycle. Completion of regeneration cycle leaves the sodium on the softener resin. Next, hard water is introduced during the softening cycle. The hardness, caused by the calcium and magnesium ions in the water, are “exchanged” for the sodium ions, thus producing soft water at zero (0) hardness. The zero (0) soft water is then blended with a portion of the hard water (approx. 25% by-pass) to produce an acceptable soft water (Wapakoneta’s finished water hardness average is 120-140 ppm). From there the water is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine solution), and pumped by the high service pumps into the distribution system. The waste brine from softening and the filter backwash are discharged into a settling tank, and then discharged to the sanitary sewer.
A new water treatment plant was constructed in 2009, and 2010, this facility was placed into full operation in July of 2011. The plant, constructed on Schaub Road, south of US 33 produces up to 2.5 million gallons of drinking water per day using state of the art technology and automation. The plant has the footprint to expand to accommodate up to 5 million gallons per day if needed.
The plant consists of 7 wells, 2 updraft aerators, 3 gravity rapid sand filters, 4 Ion-exchange softening units, 2 low service pumps, 3 high service pumps, 2 salt storage units, 2 – 250,000 gallon clearwells, and a backup generator that will operate the entire plant and 1 well field.
The City of Wapakoneta Water Treatment Plant Staff includes three Class III, one Class II, and one Class I Ohio EPA Certified Operators.