The Rathbun Regional Water Association dedication Friday of its new water treatment facility and associated improvements in northern Appanoose County was attended by more than 110 ranging from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to Centerville Mayor Jan Spurgeon.
Because of one improvement, RRWA can now draw water directly from Rathbun Lake. Before, the only water intake was from the Chariton River below the Rathbun Lake dam near the spillway.
RRWA CEO John Glenn said drawing water directly from the lake means a big improvement in water quality over what they had before.
“That gives us better quality of water, generally, and a more consistent quality,” Glenn said, adding water drawn below the dam at times during flooding would be muddy and would force RRWA to change treatment plans while changes in lake water quality are very gradual.
The nearly $40 million water treatment facility and distribution system improvement includes an approximately 60-foot deep and 20-foot diameter Caisson-style intake that withdraws raw water from Rathbun Lake. The water intake pipe is 36 inches in diameter and extends more than 500 feet into the lake and four submersible pumps are located inside the Caisson portion of the intake.
The Rathbun Lake intake has the capacity to supply 17.5 million gallons of raw water daily to RRWA’s two water treatment plants.
The Caisson pump building is located at an elevation to protect it from high lake levels.
Raw water from the lake travels to the water treatment plants through two, 24 inch diameter mains.
The new water treatment facility has at least a 6 million gallon per day production capacity and the plant’s design allows for a daily production capacity of up to 9 million gallons.
A new water tower No. 5 located west of Moravia has a 1 million gallon water storage capacity. It takes seven miles of 20 inch diameter mains to get clean drinking water from the new treatment plant to the new tower.