About Carmel Utilities
Carmel Utilities is a municipally owned utility managed by a City of Carmel Department, providing water, wastewater and trash service to households & businesses in Carmel, Indiana.
The Carmel Utilities Department includes three divisions:
- The Water Division ensures Carmel residents have an ample supply of clean water.
- The Wastewater Division handles the disposal of the city’s sanitary wastewater as well as the Carmel Green (Biosolids) Program and the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal site.
- The Trash & Recycling Division contracts for residential trash and curbside recycling service
Water Tower Construction on East 146th St. November 1989
Water Tower #1, May 1991 (Now called Midtown)
History of Carmel Utilities
The Carmel water system was started in 1929 with a single well and limited distribution system. As the system grew, additional wells were added and, today there are a total of 24 wells providing raw water to three treatment facilities.
The first water treatment plant was built in 1964. Continued growth required the expansion of the first plant in 1965 to 1.0 million gallons per day (MGD), construction of a second plant in 1971 with expansion to 3.0 MGD in 1975 and the purchase of a third 2.0 MGD plant in 1981. The fourth plant went on line in 1995.
Between April 2002 and June 2006, the Utility purchased 2,300 customers from Hamilton Western Utility and 8,300 residential and commercial customers from Indianapolis.
In 2012, a new water plant was opened at 106th & Gray Road, with the ability to pump up to 28 million gallons of water each day. The plant also had a treatment capacity of more than 12 million gallons per day (mgd), with future expansion up to 32 mgd. The plant opened with state-of-the-art technologies and processes with several environmental sustainability features. It is a registered LEED project (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) the world’s leading green building standard. It has photo voltaic power for its exterior and parking lot lights. The office and laboratory areas are heated and cooled by Geothermal technology utilizing treated groundwater. This was the first water plant in Indiana to utilize geothermal heating and cooling from treated water.
Treatment in all plants includes iron removal, softening, disinfection and fluoridation.
With internal usage the system currently can produce approximately 36 MGD for distribution.
From its limited distribution system in 1929, the system has grown to approximately 579 miles of water main serving more than 32,000 customers.
Water Plant Construction – High Service Bldg., 2011
Water Plant Construction – Main Treatment Bldg., 2011
Wastewater Plant, 1974
In April 1959, plans were approved for the first wastewater treatment plant for the town of Carmel. The Plant was located on the north side of Carmel on Range Line Road, which is now occupied by the Household Hazardous Waste building. The original sewer system went from Smokey Row Road on the North side to South Sixth Street on the south side to York Drive and Emerson on the west side and Audubon Drive on the east side.
1967 – The Sanitary Board was established. Later that same year, an agreement between the board and American Suburban Utilities allowed for the construction of the wastewater plant located at 96th street and River Road (Hazel Dell Parkway). The town of Carmel bought the 96th Street plant two years later from the Keystone Square Company for the amount of $880,480.
1972 – Storm water was banned from entering the sanitary system.
1984 – The total daily capacity at the 96th Street plant was doubled from three million gallons a day to six million gallons a day.
1988 – The total daily capacity was increased from 6.0 mgd to 8.8 mgd and was done to accommodate flow from Carmel, Clay District and Hamilton-Western and some from Westfield.
1991 – Additions were made to the plant that allowed the flow capacity to expand to 12 MGD (million gallons per day). Clay Township Regional Waste District began to pump wastewater from Home Place and the surrounding area to the 96th Street plant.
The centrifuge facility was constructed. The building went on-line August 1, 2002.
Work began on the ultra violet disinfection system. The U.V. system allowed the plant to stop using chlorine gas for disinfection and sulfur dioxide for dechlorination. The system went live in June 2006.
Implementation of the Bio-Pasteur process (The first in the United States). The system pasteurizes the solids from the anaerobic digester to destroy the pathogenic bacteria to allow a class “A” rating for its biosolids. The City of Carmel was awarded the 2006 Honors Award for the Engineering Excellence Competition which was sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana.
The Bioway tanks were installed to control biological odor. Also, covers were installed over the effluent channel of the secondary clarifiers to prevent the growth of algae.
The solar dryer building project (a greenhouse that allows the biosolids to further dry and make a more homeowner friendly product) was started and finished.
Parts of the old headworks building datee back to the early 1970’s and limited the plant’s hydraulic capacity. The new headworks building was constructed with a hydraulic capacity of 40 mgd.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant expanded its capacity from 12 million gallons per day to 14 million gallons per day. The expansion included the addition of two new aeration tanks, and one final clarifier along with piping/pump replacements and additions. The project was financed through a low interest loan (2.5%) offered through the Indiana Finance Authority State Revolving Loan Fund. Since the completion of the expansion project, a series of improvement projects began, allowing the plant to biologically or chemically remove phosphorus from Carmel’s wastewater effluent. Effective December 1, 2021, final effluent limitations of phosphorus are permit-regulated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Wastewater Plant, 2022
Household Hazardous Waste & Recycling:
The Carmel Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site opened in 1998 at its current location off of North Range Line Road.
Use of the site’s services increased yearly from drop off items measured at only 19,760 items in 1999 to over 103 tons in 2010.