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Missouri American Water officials announced Monday the company has begun replacing equipment in its secondary water-treatment basin at its Jefferson City plant on West Main Street.

Work began Friday and is scheduled to last through mid-December.

The $240,000 upgrade will improve secondary flocculation equipment, and company officials said this upgrade to the system's treatment process will improve water quality and help the company to meet new, more stringent water quality regulations while enhancing efficiency, system reliability and plant safety.

Flocculation is a process in which fine particulates are caused to clump together; the clumped material can then be readily filtered from liquid.

"The current equipment is more than 50 years old, and replacement parts are obsolete and difficult or impossible to find," said Curtis Wheat, senior supervisor of operations. "Some of the current equipment is inoperable in its current state, so this is a much-needed investment in our system."

Company officials said Missouri American invests more than $200 million statewide, including more than $11 million in Jefferson City in 2017, in infrastructure improvements such as this project.

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