The City of Stillwater embarks on a transformative water infrastructure project, addressing outdated systems serving 79,000 residents across five counties. With federal grants and a low-interest loan totaling $39 million, the initiative includes constructing a new pump station, upgrading chemical facilities, and exploring additional raw water storage. While ensuring current water quality, the investment aims to propel Stillwater's treatment systems into the future. The project responds to community needs, particularly in the growing town of Yost. Funding recovery involves a slight increase in water rates for Stillwater customers.
In a monumental endeavor, the City of Stillwater announces a comprehensive overhaul of its water infrastructure, a significant undertaking aimed at modernizing systems that have faithfully served 79,000 residents across five counties, including the populous vicinity of Oklahoma State University.
The pressing need for this infrastructure revitalization becomes evident as the city's water pump stations and equipment, in operation for several decades, stand outdated. City officials, acknowledging the necessity for a substantial upgrade, reveal that this project marks the most significant undertaking at the water treatment plant in over 40 years.
To fuel this ambitious venture, the city secured federal grants along with a low-interest loan totaling $39 million from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. While emphasizing that the current water quality meets standards, the funds are earmarked for two core projects crucial to ushering the treatment systems into the future.
The primary initiatives involve the construction of a new pump station and the establishment of modern chemical facilities at the water treatment plant. Additionally, the city is actively exploring solutions for the storage of raw water, ensuring a robust and reliable supply for the entire system. The need for such enhancements becomes particularly pronounced in areas like the town of Yost, where water flow limitations hamper community growth and development.
During a Stillwater City Council meeting, a member of the rural water advisory board highlighted the challenges faced by communities like Yost. The limitations on water meters directly impact the region's ability to accommodate growth and economic development. The infusion of funds into these critical projects is seen as a vital step in overcoming these hindrances and fostering sustained growth in affected areas.
While the benefits of the infrastructure overhaul are evident, the financial aspect involves a cooperative effort. Stillwater customers, including off-campus OSU students and faculty, will contribute to repaying the loan through slightly elevated water rates in the coming years. The City of Stillwater emphasizes that this financial commitment is integral to its overarching responsibility of providing safe drinking water to all residents.
The city outlines a comprehensive timeline for these transformative projects. The commencement of construction for the new pump station is slated to begin in the next few weeks at the main treatment plant. Simultaneously, preparations for the chemicals improvement project are underway, with construction expected to kick off in the fall. Crossland Construction is tasked with executing both main projects, with completion anticipated in 2026.
Stillwater's grand water infrastructure revival represents a commitment to modernization and growth, ensuring the city's vital systems align with contemporary standards. The collaboration between federal grants, low-interest loans, and community contributions underscores a shared dedication to providing safe and reliable drinking water for the residents of Stillwater. As construction gears up in the coming weeks, the anticipation builds for a transformed aquatic landscape, fostering sustainability and resilience for years to come.