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Don Koci, Superintendent of Water Treatment Systems
  • Telephone Number: 620-694-1900
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  • Department Hours: Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Center Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. except select Federal holidays

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Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Center

Water Treatment Center

"This Project is a win-win-win situation. A win for the environment, a win for the city, and a win for the future."   - Art Spratlin, EPA Region 7 Director

  In the early 1980's, the 4th and Carey groundwater contamination was discovered when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began testing public water supply wells. A City of Hutchinson well located at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Carey Street was found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are man made chemicals produced for use in industrial, commercial and agricultural activities. These VOCs are regulated by EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) because of potential adverse health effects. The groundwater contamination findings conducted by EPA and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) led to the determination of the 4th and Carey Groundwater Contamination site.
Don Koci and Governor BrownbackThe City and local industry leaders stepped forth to keep the site from being placed on EPA's National Priority List (Superfund). Eventually agreements were reached with those suspected of being responsible for the contamination, the City and KDHE. The City signed a consent agreement with KDHE in 1994 whereby agreeing to clean up the site. Separate agreements were reached with the responsible parties in which they agreed to pay for the cleanup. A tax increment finance (TIF) district was established in 1996 to provide some tax funding for actual groundwater cleanup and remediation work.

  The original plan to remediate the groundwater contamination consisted of pumping water from the ground, air stripping out the VOCs and discharging the resulting remediated water to a receiving stream (Cow Creek). However, much of the remediated water is very high in chlorides and KDHE prohibits itsMembrane Train disposal into waterways where it can affect downstream uses. When faced with the inability to discharge the treated water to a receiving stream, the City stepped back in search of a solution that could put the natural water resource to a beneficial use and provide a regional solution for not only the 4th and Carey pollution, but also the high chloride waters and other industrial contamination in the area. The most effective way to remove both the VOCs and chlorides from water was through a reverse osmosis (RO) treatment process.

Pump Building  The Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Facility Project, which was completed in May 2009, provides a regional solution to the widespread regional groundwater contamination problem in the City's southeast industrial area, resulting in an economically beneficial and environmentally sound approach to cleaning up the groundwater contamination. The City fulfills its obligation to clean up the groundwater contamination, and the community is assured a much higher quality and safe drinking water for many years into the future.

  The reverse osmosis water treatment facility has an average daily capacity of 10 million gallons per day at a 60% treated water to 40% untreated municipal water blending ratio. In addition to the RO treatment facility the project also includes source area remediation treatment, many miles of buried pipelines, groundwater remediation extraction wells, and two Class I Non-hazardous UIC wells.