No News is Good News at Tulsa Water Treatment Plant

Thursday, May 21st 2009, 2:01 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell,

TULSA, OK -- During Public Works Week, the City of Tulsa offered tours of its water treatment facilities.

Surprisingly, no one else showed up for the tour so Clayton Edwards from the Public Works Department gave me a guided tour of the beautiful facility.

"The old plant was built in the early 1920's as a first treatment plant for the city of Tulsa that received water from Lake Spavinaw," said Edwards.  "Through the years as Tulsa grew this plant was expanded and finally replaced with the new plant in 1998."

The old plant had been built with the passage of what was then the biggest bond issue in U.S. history, finally bringing fresh water to thirsty Tulsans.

It has now been converted into an administration building, testing lab and community center.

The new plant now provides over 100 million gallons of drinking water every day, rigorously tested and ready for drinking, filling up your pool or washing your car.

Giant pumps have replaced the old one which is now in the facilities museum.

But other than upgrading equipment nothing much in the process has changed in the last 80 years.

"The actual treatment process has been the same for a number of years, of course the equipment has been improved and upgraded, more efficient pumps and motors, but we still use the same treatment processes that we've used for a long time now," said Edwards.

Now, I don't want to say that it is boring, because it is interesting, but when the highlight of the tour is when they back-flush the tanks, it is, as they will admit, about like watching the grass grow, or watching the paint dry, it's -- ok, it's boring! 

But Clayton and the folks in water treatment don't want excitement, they want to keep pumping out clean, boring old water for the people of Tulsa.