$3M operations facility planned for Patoka water, sewer


DUBOIS — The Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District in Dubois is constructing a needed maintenance building.

The building is being called a water transmission and distribution operations facility, but the facility is not directly tied to actual water treatment, District General Manager Doug Merkel said. Instead, the facility will address space needs for servicing company vehicles and equipment, conducting welding work and storing inventory.

“We simply don’t have enough room for that work,” Merkel said.

Construction of the 35,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in a year and cost between $3 and $4 million. Site work was done last fall, and a groundbreaking for the building was held Aug. 17.

Work that in the past has been done in three older pole barns will be consolidated into the new building. The new facility will be near the pole barns, which will remain and be used for other district work.

“We have everything scattered out into these three buildings,” Merkel said. “They are old buildings, put together by employees. The last one was built about 20 years ago. We’ve grown considerably since.”

The new facility will have multiple bays and space for service work to be done on the district’s trucks and equipment. “We are working out of a service area that has only two bays,” Merkel said. “We have more than 20 trucks and several pieces of equipment.”

A metal shop for welding work will also be in the new building, as well as space to store inventory, office areas, a meeting room and break areas.

Needed improvements made to the water plant were completed in 2012. The $6.5 million in improvements included an ultraviolet infiltration system and a state-of-the-art taste and odor control system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management had mandated the enhanced monitoring of different compounds in water, and required plants that couldn’t handle the enhanced monitoring to improve their filtration systems.

The Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District provides water to Ferdinand, Holland, Birdseye and other water distributors in 12 counties.

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