The City of Huber Heights is building a water softening plant to improve water for residents. Peterson Construction began work on the $11 million project this month. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees
Photo: Ty Greenlees

$11 million Huber Heights water softening project starts

Huber Heights has started making upgrades to the water treatment plant on Rip Rap Road, adding technology that will soften the city’s water.

Once completed, the water will be a little softer than water supplied by the city of Dayton, said Russ Bergman, Huber Heights city engineer.

The $11 million project is being paid for by a loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority and increased water rates.

Peterson Construction began building a new 6,000 square-foot building to house the nano-filtration system this month. Construction will take about a year, but it will be about 15 months until Huber Heights’ water will be fully softened.

MORE: Huber Heights voters to consider $12 million water softening project

Huber Heights residents may have noticed a 15% increase on their water bill in January of 2019, or on average a $6 increase.

The rate will increase by another 15% starting Jan. 1, 2020.

In the 2021 billing cycle, residents’ water bills are subject to increase, but might not, said Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer.

In 2021 and beyond, residents’ water bills could increase based on the consumer price index table, published by the Department of Labor.

The move toward softening the city’s water, Schommer said, came from the needs and demands of residents.

“This is really going to reduce build-up in pipes and fixtures and overall improve the quality of the water,” Schommer said.

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Residents voted “yes” on the issue in a 2016 advisory election, Schommer said. Before then, the city conducted a survey with Wright State to gauge residents’ interest in having softer water. Bergman said about 65% of those surveyed were interested in softer water.

Residents who have a water softener at their home should turn it off for a month or two once the city’s water softener is up and running. That way residents can see if they notice a difference, Bergman said.

Schommer said the majority of Huber Heights residents use a water softener already. They would need to be mindful that the hardness level going into their filter would need to be changed. Schommer said the water softening project could end up saving residents’ money if they find the city’s new, softened water is to their preference.

“This will help a lot of people,” Bergman said.

The water treatment plant currently filters out manganese and iron. Once the water softening filter is added, it will also filter out calcium carbonate.

Huber Heights will also be making a connection to the city of Dayton’s water supply.

This would be a back up water supply, and Dayton would also be able to take Huber’s water in the case of an emergency, like the February water outage.

The water treatment plant will also be adding a new generator and adding a new well to phase out an old one.

The city also recently worked on a water pressure project, but is still working out glitches, Bergman said. The project improved water pressure for businesses and individual residences in Huber Heights that are north of Interstate 70.

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