WMU accepts bid for new water plant

The Winchester Municipal Utilities Board of Commissioners voted Thursday evening to award the bid for construction of its new water treatment plant.

Judy Construction Company of Cynthiana submitted the winning bid for a total cost of $19.9 million, less than the original engineering estimate of $23 million.

The new plant will be built on the same property as the Lower Howard’s Creek wastewater treatment plant off Boonesboro Road. The facility will replace WMU’s current water plant, which has been active for more than 120 years and lacks much of the equipment more modern plants in other areas of the state have.

The plant will have a capacity of 9 million gallons per day (MGD), an increase from the old facility’s 5 MGD. The increased capacity will allow the quality of the water treated to improve because it will be able to stay in the plant longer. It will also open up a larger supply of water to help accommodate new development within the county.

WMU General Manager Mike Flynn said the contractor will likely not be able to begin work until close to next spring because of the approaching winter.

“It probably will not be until the February or March timeframe,” Flynn said.

Upon completion of the new plant, the original water plant, located next to the reservoir on Water Works Road, will be kept partially online and act as a pump station connecting the reservoir to the new treatment facility. Because of its historical significance, Flynn said the building will be maintained and likely used as for storage once the transition is complete.