Ozone Treatment Facilities
Imagine the crisp aroma that hangs in the air during a thunderstorm. That's ozone you're smelling!
Ozone, a powerful oxidant, is a safe, effective, and natural method for treating water. Ozone is now the primary means of disinfection for water produced at WaterOne's Hansen Treatment Plant.
What Is Ozone?
WaterOne Ozone Facilities Building
Ozone forms naturally when electricity causes oxygen molecules to bond together as O3. As an oxidant, ozone is highly effective at destroying viruses, bacteria, and pharmaceuticals, as well as breaking down taste and odor compounds in our source waters. Learn more about our treatment process.
Why Did We Upgrade?
The health and safety of our customers is our top priority. Ozone is one of the strongest treatment methods available, which will allow us to proactively meet or exceed future drinking water regulations. Ozone is also a more efficient treatment method, allowing WaterOne to run its treatment plants more cost-effectively.
The ozone treatment facilities project was first planned in 2013, and funding was secured through a competitive bond sale in October 2017. The project bid was awarded to Garney Construction at a cost of $35.8 million, and ground was broken in December 2017. Construction was completed in summer 2020.
How It Works
This graphic shows how ozone is used in WaterOne's water treatment process at Hansen Treatment Plant.
- What is ozone? Is it safe?
In nature, ozone occurs during thunderstorms, when electricity causes oxygen molecules to become excited and bind together. WaterOne will be using the same process to produce ozone for use in its water treatment. Drinking water that has been treated with ozone is completely safe. The only chemical by-product of ozone is oxygen, which dissipates on its own during the treatment process.
- How does WaterOne use ozone to treat water?
Ozone is produced on-site for water treatment using ozone generators, which use high voltage electricity to excite oxygen (O2) into becoming ozone (O3). After generation, the ozone is introduced into a pipeline contactor. During its time in the pipeline, the ozone works to destroy viruses and bacteria while breaking down taste and odor compounds. The ozone-treated water then continues through the remaining steps of the treatment process.
- Why is ozone water treatment better than conventional methods?
Besides being an improved treatment method for substances in the source water like bacteria, viruses, pharmaceuticals, and taste and odor compounds, the ozone treatment process is more efficient and cost-effective. Conventional water treatment methods rely on costly chemical additives, and WaterOne gets better value from ratepayer dollars by replacing these methods with ozone water treatment.
- Why did WaterOne invest in ozone water treatment?
WaterOne's top priority is to protect the health and safety of our customers using the best resources available. As water treatment technology becomes more innovative, regulations for drinking water quality can also get more restrictive, and ozone water treatment will allow WaterOne to proactively meet future drinking water regulations. The plant will also allow WaterOne to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively, and is projected to pay for itself within 20 years due to reduced operating expenses.
- Is ozone commonly used to treat water?
Ozone water treatment methods were developed throughout the 20th century, and ozone is now widely used to treat water in the US and internationally. Several ozone treatment facilities are currently in operation in Kansas, although the facility at WaterOne will be the largest in the state.
- Will my water taste any different?
Ozone is more effective at treating taste and odor compounds in our source water. While WaterOne's tap water is completely safe, seasonal conditions in the Kansas and Missouri river can sometimes cause variances in the taste of the water. Ozone treatment will help WaterOne deliver delicious, consistent-tasting tap water all year long.
- Will my water bill go up because of Ozone Water Treatment?
No rate increase is required because of this project. WaterOne maintains a planning horizon of 40 years, and major infrastructure projects are carefully funded according to long-term budget planning in order to avoid reactive rate increases. The construction of ozone treatment facilities is projected to pay for itself within 20 years due to cost savings as a result of a more-efficient water treatment process.