December 15th, 2015

Missouri American Water Investing $11 Million to Replace Aging Switchgear at Its Largest Water Treatment Plant

Missouri American Water is replacing aging switchgear vital to providing electrical power to pumps at the company’s largest water treatment plant.

At the Missouri American Water Central Plant in Chesterfield, the company is building a new high service switchgear, which provides six pumps on the site with starting power and serves as a type of fuse box for the pumps.

The $11 million project will continue through December 2020 and has been designed to prevent interruptions in water service to customers.

“Our Central Treatment Plant originally dates back to 1902, and we have to continually invest in it to maintain safety and reliability as it ages,” said Debbie Dewey, president of Missouri American Water. “Losing power at our largest treatment plant, which serves about 60 percent of our customers in St. Louis County, would have a huge impact on the region because we can’t pump water without power. Our customers depend on the safety and availability of the water we provide, which is why this project is so important.”

The current high service pump starters and switchgear were installed in 1968 and are nearing the end of their useful life. Parts for repairing the existing gear have become challenging to procure. The upgrades will ensure more reliable service and safer operation and maintenance of the treatment plant.

Derek Linam, engineering manager for Missouri American Water, said, “The switchgear deals with high levels of electricity and has a safety and protection function to limit the amount of damage in case of a short circuit or fault.” He continued, “In the event of a fault, the new gear is expected to operate reliably and quickly, limiting fires and potential damage to pumps and nearby facilities.”

Missouri American Water

Missouri American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.5 million people.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Brian Russell
Communications Manager
T - 314-996-2239
C - 314-825-3578

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