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Wausau breaks ground on new water plant

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 8:42 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -Construction on a new Water Treatment Plant for Wausau is now officially underway. A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of a new drinking water plant and renovation of the wastewater facility took place off of Bugbee Avenue just before noon on Tuesday, July 7.

"I think mostly what we're excited about is actually these facilities will serve the city for 50 plus years," Wausau Director of Public Works and Utilities Eric Lindman said.

These upgrades are something that the city is in desperate need of to resolve capacity issues and provide safer water for people and the environment.

"It's a plant that is sorely needed, we need the upgraded infrastructure, but we also have some impending DNR mandates that we need to comply with and this new facility does all of that," Wausau District 7 Alderperson Lisa Rasmussen said.

It's the plan to get the new admin building built and enclosed by the end of the fall along with rerouting the water lines to the new facility. Crews will then work on the interior of the buildings over the winter.

The city has been planning to build new drinking water and freshwater plants for the past four years and Lindman said the long wait has been worth it for the outcome of the improved facilities.

"It's always great to kind of work through something in planning for so many years and then actually see it come to fruition," he said.

Residents on average will see an increase of nearly $300 per year in their water bill, which will amount to approximately 32 percent total for water and 62 percent total for wastewater, but the city believes this was the best option.

"You often don't think of the water treatment facility but every time someone turns on a faucet and safe quality water comes out, that matters to us," Rasmussen said.

Construction for the new facility is beginning this month and will be completed by 2022.

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