$2 B in ARRA Funds for Drinking Water Is Small Part of Market

Some 900 projects with $2 billion in stimulus support are moving forward, but these represent a small portion of the total activity in municipal drinking water. Some of the recent project updates in the McIlvaine "North American Public Water Plants and People" testify to the larger scale of activity. (Subscription required.)

Florida: Davie, Fla., is targeting $100 million for a reverse osmosis facility and other upgrades while Palm Beach, Fla., is starting construction of a $77 million treatment plant. Many other south Florida utilities are building deep water plants to tap into the mineral laden Floridian aquifer.

Texas: Last month Austin, Texas, approved a $508 million water treatment plant. It will need to be completed by 2014. The city of Pasco, Texas needs to invest more than $28 million over the next six years on its water treatment and distribution systems to meet regulatory requirements.

Northeast: Rhode Island officials announced recently the awarding of a $135 million in low-cost loans to 32 communities to increase drinking-water supplies or develop new pipelines and treatment facilities to reduce water pollution. The proposed Fullerton Water Plant in Baltimore, Md., will cost $360 million. Ratepayers in Braintree, Randolph, and Holbrook counties in Massachusetts will share a cost of $33-$40 million for a new water treatment plant. New York City's new Croton water treatment plant will cost more than twice the original estimate of $992 million and it will not be finished on time.

Bids were just received for the West Haven, Conn., water treatment plant. The low bid was $44 million. This was $20 million lower than the budget.

In addition to these larger projects there are thousands of smaller projects which are reported biweekly in this service.

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