The Elm Point Water Plant is a ground water treatment facility that receives its water from shallow gravel packed wells. Each well is capable of pumping 1.5 million gallons of water per day (GPD). The water is delivered to the treatment plant via 11,000 feet of a 24-inch transmission main.
Once the untreated water reaches the plant, it passes a number of treatment processes. It is first aerated to remove a number of chemicals which cause hardness in water. These chemicals are carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and iron. Lime is then added to the water to facilitate the softening process. This enables citizens to reduce the amount of soap needed to wash laundry, dishes and for hygienic purposes such as baths and showers. Sodium hypochlorite is also added to disinfect the water and sodium hexametaphosphate which lines the inside of the water mains to help reduce scaling.
The plant was originally constructed in 1963 with a design of 3 million gallons per day (MGD). With increasing growth in the mid 1960s, the City soon realized that the Elm Point Water Plant, along with the former Main Street Water Plant, would be unable to adequately meet the demands and needs of a growing community. In the late 1960s, the City determined it was necessary to double the treatment and pumping capacity of the Elm Point Plant. Construction was completed in 1968 which enabled the plant to pump 6 MGD.
Joint Venture With St. Peters
With the explosive growth in the late early 1980s, it was obvious the City would soon be facing a dilemma of not being able to supply sufficient quantities of water to the community. As a matter of coincidence, our neighbors to the west, the City of Saint Peters, was facing the same pains of a rapidly growing community as well. They too were having problems meeting the demands of their citizens. The City of Saint Charles and the City of Saint Peters entered into an agreement to hire an engineering firm to study the current and future supply and demand needs of the two communities.
A number of options were developed, but the most favored plan was coined the "Joint Venture" project. This plan provided for the construction of a common pipeline which would deliver water from the City of Saint Louis, to a pumping station located in the Heritage subdivision. Both Saint Charles and Saint Peters would share in the overall cost of the project, each paying a predetermined amount equal to the average size of the water distribution system and number of customers served. It was estimated that the City of Saint Charles would pay approximately ⅔ of the overall project cost and future maintenance, with the City of Saint Peters paying the remaining ⅓ of the costs.
Heritage Pumping Station
In 1985, construction was started on the Heritage Pumping Station. On March 17, 1987, the valves were opened and water started flowing to the customers south of Interstate 70. Between the Elm Point Water Treatment Plant and Pumping Station and the Heritage Pumping Station, the City has the capability to pump more than 18 MGD. Other than an occasional power failure, or planned shutdown, both the Elm Point Plant and Heritage Pumping Station have been in continuous operation since their initial start-up. Currently, 40 percent of the City's potable water is produced at the Elm Point Water Plant and 60% is purchased from the City of Saint Louis via the Heritage Pumping Station.