New Water Treatment Plant: Preparing for the Future, Preserving the Past


2019 Engineering Excellence Award | State Finalist

Entering Firm: Applied Technologies Inc.
Client: City of Watertown
Category: Water Resources

The City of Watertown was faced with a difficult dilemma: the city’s central water treatment plant was originally designed in 1895 and, despite improvements, could not keep pace with current demands. However, because of the age of the plant, there were historical concerns with demolishing it.

Applied Technologies took on both issues in a holistic manner. By working with the city’s historical society, the design team determined that historical elements of the plant could be preserved. Historically significant items were saved for curation and aesthetic elements pay homage to the treatment plant’s original design. At the same time, the site was reviewed and the new facility was designed with sustainability in mind. The footprint of the site was constricted by nearby homes so the new plant incorporates new technology and reduces climate control costs with additional natural light, modern insulation and other features. Redundant pumping operations were also eliminated. With these changes, the plant costs less to operate now and is more efficient at removing iron, manganese and other pollutants in the water.

The design team honored the historic significance of the plant while pushing the new design forward in the future. This new plant incorporates the aesthetic elements of the 19th century but houses 21st century technology.


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