Are details finalized for the design?
No. However, the preliminary engineering report has been submitted and approved and design has entered the final phase. As the design is further developed, more and more details will be developed and a complete picture will form. Stay up to date at public meetings and through progress reported on this website.
Why does Danville need a new Water Treatment Plant?
In summary, the need comes down to two main factors:
1. Extra capacity is needed for future and current peak demands.
2. Increased EPA regulations for water treatment
Components of the water plant were installed as early as 1924. The most recent plant expansion came in 1990 to the current capacity of 10 million gallons per day (MGD). Aging equipment in the facility currently prohibits the Danville WTP from reaching design capacity of 10 MGD. During peak summer demand periods Danville has came close, for short periods of time, to reaching critical situations as the plant struggled to produce water at the design rate. A Water Master Plan developed for the City of Danville in 2008 estimates 12 MGD capacity will handle projected demands through 2048. As mentioned above, this may not be the final design point.
Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated additional rules and regulations to be enforced in the upcoming years. Among the most prominent changes is the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfectant Byproducts Rule. This law further regulates the byproducts formed when disinfectants (such as chlorine) are used to treat water. More information is available from the EPA here.
There is a lot of talk about “Regionalization.” What are the impacts of regionalization for the citizens of Danville?
Regionalization is the idea that a single water treatment plant can be built to serve a larger customer base. The alternative to regionalization is building several smaller WTPs to serve smaller customer bases. For example the City of Danville is currently considered a regional water supplier because it sells water to customers in Parksville, Garrard County, Lake Village, Hustonville and North Mercer. For these citizens in smaller communities, the capital expenditures and operational and maintenance costs are too great to justify building a water treatment plant. Danville, with its ability to increase production, has agreed to sell water to these smaller communities at a fair cost of service.
The cost of service allows the City of Danville to build a rate structure such that the communities buying water are charged costs not only for additional operations and maintenance, but the cost of water service includes capital expenditures that help to cover the total WTP costs. In short, other communities are helping to pay for Danville’s Water Treatment Plant.
The key principle to consider is “Economics of Scale.” This concept is very important when analyzing the costs of construction and operational and maintenance costs. With every project, certain costs are set at a price, and only marginally increase with additional scaling. For example, a WTP designed to produce 10 MGD may cost $20 million. Under similar conditions, another WTP designed to produce 20 MGD may cost $30 million. In this example, capacity doubles but the cost is only 50% greater. The “Economics of Scale” is a reduction in unit cost with an increase in total production.
So, what does this mean for the average customer? For the customer, regionalization means cheaper water.
Are there additional benefits of “Regionalization”?
As a regional provider of water, Danville is seen as a leader in water treatment technologies and practices. With expanded facilities, the WTP becomes a regional center for training and to help lead the discussion on water treatment practices.
As one of the showcase cities in Kentucky, Danville will attract regional WTP operator conventions and training seminars. The Danville WTP will offer opportunities for operators and WTP personnel from other cities around the state to visit and train at the Danville WTP, spend time eating and shopping in the community, and enjoy many of the other amenities offered around Danville.
Will there be a new plant site or will the old site be rehabilitated?
The City of Danville is planning to reuse the existing WTP site for upgrading and expanding the capabilities and capacity of the plant. Additionally, the design team is sensitive to the architectural and historical look and feel of much of the old plant structure. The new installations and upgrades will be implemented while striving to maintain many of the original architectural features.
How much will the new plant cost?
Budget details are available here.
Will the City of Danville be responsible for the entire cost of the project?
Yes. The ultimate responsibility to pay for the project rests with the City of Danville. However, partial grants are available from sources such as the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, to name a few. These agencies grant money based on many factors, including the amount of people potentially benefitting from the project and median household income of the customers served. Although the likelihood of being awarded money varies from government agency to agency, the City of Danville is actively positioning itself to be considered for various grant funds. City officials are meeting and will continue to meet with various state and national politicians to seek financial assistance for this project. Any assistance granted will ease the financial burden of the City of Danville’s water customers.
What is the rate increase impact?
A family with average usage (4,000 gallons per month) will pay $17.63 (up from $ 12.10). A minimum monthly bill (less than 750 gallons) is $7.82 (up from $ 5.37). It should be noted that any rate increase associated with this project will only affect the water portion of the utility. Sewer (or other) rates are unaffected.
The Stage 2 DBP Rule implemented by the EPA is projected to have varying financial impacts across the country. The EPA also continues to monitor water quality regulations with additional rates under development. Financial impact studies are done on a national and state basis, however each utility can vary. The economic analysis performed by the EPA on the Stage 2 DBP Rule can be found here.
How do the City of Danville water rates compares to other cities?
A family with average usage (4000 gallons per month) will pay the following:
Kentucky American (Lexington): $30.44
As always - the average Danville family will pay less than half a penny per gallon used
Will the work just involve a new treatment plant?
No. In order to fully comply with the EPA's additional regulations, additional improvements may be necessary in the distribution system and at the raw water intake. With all water distribution systems, there are inherent risks and the project may include measures to help mitigate these risks. Examples of mitigation efforts may be redundant pumps to safe-guard against a pump failure or diesel generators in the event of large power outages.
Where can I voice my questions or concerns?
Any questions or comments can be directed here. City council meetings are also open to the public. All comments and questions about the WTP project will try to be addressed in a public forum, such as this website or the city council meetings.
City commission meetings are held every second Monday.
City Engineer’s office: 859-238-1200
When will work begin?
Work has already began on the final design phase. For more information, a schedule can found here.