Work starting on new drinking water reservoir

By The Associated Press

FISHERS — The company that provides water service to much of central Indiana is preparing to convert a quarry just northeast of Indianapolis into a reservoir for drinking water to meet the demands of the growing population over the next several decades.

The city of Fishers has approved two permits Citizens Energy needed to begin preliminary work on a new 3.5 billion gallon (13.25 billion liter) reservoir near the existing Geist Reservoir, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Work is expected to begin late this year and last through next year, Citizens Energy spokesman Dan Considine said. Citizens Energy also owns Geist Reservoir, which dates to the 1940s and holds about twice as much water as the converted quarry will store.

The new $30 million reservoir will pump 25 million gallons (95 million liters) a day of captured rainwater into Geist, which sends it to Fall Creek and the utility's processing plants in Indianapolis.

The new reservoir itself will not be open to the public because it's too deep.

But Fishers has plans to build a public park and beach near the quarry along Geist, which is open for boating, swimming and fishing. The city's recreational project, called the Cove, could include feature a fishing pier, a lookout tower, a boardwalk, a nature area and kayaking and paddle board rental.

Fishers spokeswoman Elrod Ashley said the city is in the process of tearing down buildings at the site previously occupied by IMI Materials, the concrete company that owned the quarry. Officials are now in the design phase of the park, which is expected to take a few years to finish.

A study by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce estimates demand for water in the Indianapolis area will increase by 50 million gallons per day by 2050.

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