“When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water” ~ Benjamin Franklin

FAQs

The City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities is building a new water plant and transmission mains to prepare for the growing need for clean, safe drinking water in central Ohio.

Central Ohio is growing from about 2.5 million residents today to more than 3 million by 2050. Columbus needs to provide clean, safe drinking water for everyone as we plan for the future.

The new Home Road water plant and transmission mains will increase the region’s water system capacity and reliability as the region grows. It will also provide relief to the three existing Columbus water plants.

The new water plant will be built along the Scioto River at the intersection of Home and Dublin roads in Delaware County. Water transmission mains will connect the new plant to the Columbus water distribution system near the Blazer Parkway area at Frantz Road and Parkcenter Avenue, and other strategic areas in northwest Columbus.

The eventual need for a fourth water plant has been known since the department’s "Water Beyond 2000" planning documents from the 1990s and early 2000s. Due to regular evaluation of future needs by the Division of Water, more detailed planning for the fourth water plant and transmission mains has been underway for several years, including the 2015 purchase of the land where the water plant will be built.

The new Home Road water plant and transmission mains will benefit over 20 communities in central Ohio, including places like Dublin and unincorporated areas such as Concord Township in Delaware County. Many residents in these areas receive their water bill from Columbus. Even if your bill doesn’t say “Columbus,” other central Ohio communities, such as Bexley and Gahanna, buy water in bulk from Columbus and handle their own billing. We are building to ensure that clean water is available, and ready to use. Columbus needs to provide clean, safe drinking water for everyone as we plan for the future.

For the water plant transmission mains, the first phase of design, also called preliminary engineering,
began in January 2023 and is focused on evaluating potential alignments. Phase two, or final design, is
anticipated to begin summer 2024. Phase 3 is construction, expected to begin in 2027 and be
completed by the end of the decade.

For the Home Road water plant project, the first phase of design began in January 2023 and is focused on
researching and evaluating options and then developing a basis of design for the recommended
improvements. Phases two and three, preliminary and final design, are anticipated to begin by the end of 2024 and continue into 2025. Phase 4 is construction, expected to begin in 2025/2026 and will be
completed by the end of the decade.

Project schedules are subject to change as the design progresses.

Both the Home Road water plant and the transmission mains are in the design phases. Once the designs for
each have been finalized, cost estimates will be available.

The Columbus Department of Public Utilities relies on ratepayers, both within the city and in contract communities, to fund most of its capital projects, including the current ones. Every year, the department reviews water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, making incremental annual rate increases to ensure quality services are maintained and accommodate future growth. Department annual reports can be found here. This revenue is crucial for ongoing capital improvement programs, which enhance quality of life and support economic growth in central Ohio.

To stretch these funds further, the design of the water plant and transmission mains is being financed through a low-interest loan program managed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency called the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account. Securing a low-interest loan is cost-effective, providing the city with financial stability and predictability to fund future growth.

Due to regular evaluation of future needs by the Columbus Division of Water, planning for the fourth
water plant and transmission mains has been underway for several years, including the 2015 purchase
of the land where the water plant will be built. This planning is reflected in the annual rate reviews,
described above, to minimize sudden increases even for projects as large as these. In other words, rate
calculations have reflected these projects and others for several years through regular, modest
increases, instead of abrupt jumps when the projects are finalized.

The City of Columbus Division of Water prioritizes environmental stewardship and believes it is a critical
part of the project. Our design team will specifically identify environmental concerns so that proper
avoidance or mitigation measures can be implemented. Every potential environmental impact will be
identified and, when possible, avoided or minimized.

The City of Columbus owns all the land where the Home Road water plant will be built. Some property impacts may occur for the transmission mains, though the project team is evaluating the best route alignment options to minimize or avoid major property impacts to businesses and residents. Should we anticipate your property will be affected, we will reach out to you in a timely manner.

General information about property impacts in Ohio can be reviewed here.

Temporary road closures and detours are anticipated during construction. Access will be maintained to properties during construction. After route alignment options have been selected, a maintenance of traffic plan will be developed which will identify road impacts and related directional signage. As construction gets underway, we will provide construction updates on this website and post signs to notify the public of any closures or detours.
Neither water quality nor supply will be affected for current customers. Any planned service interruptions during construction caused by construction will be limited and communicated in advance.
No. The water transmission mains won’t directly serve individual businesses or residents. The mains will convey treated water from the new water plant to the water distribution system near the Blazer Parkway area.

Yes. Columbus is working closely with jurisdictions along the possible route alignments for the
transmission mains. Policy-level and technical representatives from each jurisdiction were invited to
participate in an advisory group. This body has contributed local data, reviewed study documents and
provided invaluable input on the project.

The City of Columbus has hired a team of consultants, led by ms consultants, to conduct a subsurface and field survey exploration program. This includes soil boring and installing groundwater monitoring wells to understand existing subsurface conditions along possible water main alignments.

Currently, Aldea Services and other subcontractors (CTL Engineering, DHDC, Eagon Associates, Resource International and 7NT) are obtaining soil borings using track-mounted soil sampling rigs and installing groundwater monitoring wells at selected locations. The wells will be monitored monthly throughout the design duration of the project up until construction.

The subsurface exploration program for the transmission mains is working closely with all local jurisdictions and their inspectors to ensure work protocols are followed, and any needed restoration to private property meets jurisdiction requirements.

Surveying is the collection of topographical data points (latitude, longitude and elevation of the ground)
and objects (utilities, landscaping, edge of pavements, etc.). These data points are used to create detailed construction plans.

Soil boring involves drilling a hole into the ground to collect samples of soil and rock. This process is
used to determine the soil’s physical and chemical properties and to assess the suitability of the site for
various engineering needs. Soil boring ranges from 15’ to 30’ deep.

A monitoring well includes drilling a hole into the ground to measure water level elevations within the
ground or to obtain a representative groundwater sample. These are temporary wells that, once investigations are complete, will be filled and the area will be restored to its previous condition.

You can get involved by attending a public informational meeting, planned for June 18, 2024, and by checking the website for updates.

You can track progress on this project by bookmarking and checking this website. New information will be added as it becomes available.