Otoe-Missouria Tribe Opens New Water Treatment Facility; Provides water to rural Oklahomans
Red Rock, OKLA.--The Otoe-Missouria Tribe held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, December 5 in Red Rock to officially begin operation of the tribe’s new water treatment facility.
After years of enduring issues with poor quality water, the tribe created an intense reorganization plan for the utility authority and the water plant in the fall of 2016. The Tribal Council appointed the Otoe-Missouria Utility Authority Board and the members began reorganization immediately.
Municipalities in the area where the tribe is located struggle with plentiful water sources and effective treatment of water. With the completion of this water treatment facility, the tribe will be able to support some of the communities, residences and businesses in the area that previously did not have access to potable water.
The new water treatment plant is over 6,500 square feet, much larger than the previous 1,000 square foot water treatment facility. The new water cleaning equipment is state-of-the-art and includes a plate settler system.
Plate settler systems are designed to remove particulates from liquids. They are often employed in primary water treatment in place of conventional settling tanks. Unlike conventional clarifiers they use a series of inclined plates. These inclined plates provide a large effective settling area for a small footprint. The inlet stream is stilled upon entry into the clarifier. Solid particles begin to settle on the plates and begin to accumulate in collection hoppers at the bottom of the clarifier unit. The sludge is drawn off at the bottom of the hoppers and the clarified liquid exits the unit.
The pilot study for the equipment was completed in the summer of 2016 and demonstrated how well the water was cleaned through this system.
The previous plant cleaned about between 40-55 gallons per minute depending on the turbidity of the inflowing water. The new plant will clean a maximum capacity of 175 gallons per minute using just one of the two cleaning lines. The two-line system allows for continuous water output on one line while maintenance and cleaning occur on the other line. The cost of the construction was $4.4 million.
The new facility can be monitored remotely and in-person. At any given time, one of the six staff members of the water treatment plant will be present in the facility to insure high water quality.
The tribe worked with many different agencies including the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the Oklahoma Rural Water Association as well as Bronze Oak who constructed the plant itself and who provided training to the water plant staff.
The Otoe-Missouria Tribe is located in North Central Oklahoma in Red Rock. There are a currently 3,259 members enrolled in the tribe with the majority living in Oklahoma. The tribe was relocated to Oklahoma in 1881 from its first reservation on the border of Nebraska and Kansas. The tribe currently owns five casinos, two gas stations, two event centers, a hotel, a cattle company, a steakhouse, financial service companies, a propane company and it will open a water park in 2019.
PHOTO CAPTION: Otoe-Missouria Chairman John Shotton cuts the ribbon to open the tribe’s new water treatment facility on Wednesday in Red Rock. The 6,500 square foot facility will provide more than three times the amount of water per minute than the previous facility providing much needed clean water to rural Oklahomans.