STEPHENS CITY — Pipeline construction associated with the new Henry F. Sliwinski Water Treatment Plant in Frederick County is expected to begin in January.

Frederick Water Executive Director Eric Lawrence made the announcement at Tuesday night’s Frederick Water board meeting. The plant is part of the Opequon Water Supply Plan (OWSP), which aims to meet Frederick Water’s projected water needs by drawing water from Opequon Creek. By 2035, Frederick Water’s customers may require up to 12 million gallons of drinking water per day — about twice the current average usage of 6 million gallons per day.

The Henry F. Sliwinski Water Treatment Plant, which will replace the existing James T. Anderson Water Treatment Plant, will be located at the end of Hot Run Drive, immediately north of the new Stonewall Park ball fields in Stephenson.

Saint Albans, W.Va.-based Orders Construction, which was awarded a nearly $32 million contract to build the plant and associated pipelines, expects to start construction on the plant in March, according to Lawrence. The company is utilizing a membrane water treatment method that is effective for virus and bacteria removal. The project is expected to be substantially complete by April 2022.

Lawrence said the Virginia Department of Health [VDH] still needs to approve designs for the project. He said the VDH’s approval is expected.

The Anderson plant currently treats about 1.8 million gallons of water per day. The new plant will provide up to 8 million gallons per day of treated water.

Also at the meeting, the board unanimously granted Lawrence approval to seek a $35,000 grant to offset costs associated with fluoridating the county’s water supply.

The VDH recommends that all public water systems provide fluoridated drinking water, citing strong evidence that water fluoridation prevents cavities and tooth decay. Lawrence told the board that the CDC states that hundreds of studies have confirmed the safety of fluoride. He said for most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

Frederick Water’s water supply is fluoridated. The grant money would assist with expenses.

Attending the meeting at Frederick Water’s offices at 315 Tasker Road were Chairman Gary Oates and board members Tom Simon and Henry F. Sliwinski. Martha Dilg and Stanley Crockett participated remotely.

— Contact Josh Janney at

jjanney@winchesterstar.com

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