Several buildings in the Missouri State Capitol Complex have switched from a well-water source to a connection with Missouri American Water's system in a move for cost savings and improved service and quality.
The Jefferson, Supreme Court and Broadway buildings; Environmental Control Center; and the Lewis and Clark Memorial's metered water vault are all on Missouri American Water in Jefferson City, after having previously been connected to a well, Office of Administration spokesman Chris Moreland said.
The metered water vault feeds the Senate parking garage, Veteran's Memorial Fountain, Lewis and Clark fountain, and the Governor's Garden, Moreland said.
"The project is currently substantially complete, with a final contract completion date of Dec. 30, 2019," he told the News Tribune via email Monday.
Moreland said the old well system had caused several problems that affected operations during business hours — shutdowns of building water systems because of sampling results and underground line breaks, as well as water line breaks that flooded a state building's basement.
He said a goal of the OA's Facilities Management, Design and Construction office is "to keep state buildings open for business, (and) the old system was not improving that goal."
Moreland said the cost of operating the well system was $80,936 per year, compared to the $57,096 cost per year of operating the new Missouri American system.
"This savings is due to the municipal water company's efficiency of scale in operating a large water system compared to the lesser economy of scale of operating a small water system for just part of the Capitol Complex," he said.
Moreland said other costs have been avoided by no longer having to pay in the future for replacement of various pieces of equipment and infrastructure: pumps that ran constantly to keep the well system pressurized; an unpressurized 400,000-gallon concrete cistern at the Environmental Control Center; metallic piping; deep wells and pumps.
The metallic piping has been replaced with PVC piping.
There also would have been future associated costs for permitting with the Department of Natural Resources, DNR water quality testing, DNR-required operator certification and training, and chlorination chemicals.
Construction related to the switch cost $583,159 and involved five planned service interruptions over various weekends. No further service interruptions are planned related to the project.
Other buildings were previously connected to Missouri American Water's system: the Harry S. Truman Building, James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, Missouri Department of Transportation buildings, Lohman's Landing and the Governor's Mansion.
The state Capitol already had a connection to Missouri American Water, and the Capitol's fountains are fed with water from the Capitol.
The House of Representatives' parking garage does not have a water connection, Moreland said.