Logansport Waterworks and Electric Company

The city of Logansport has operated a power plant since 1895. In 1888, before the city started generating, the Fort Wayne-based Jenney Electric Light Co. had built the first power plant in town, north of 8th Street.

The electric system was purchased by the City of Logansport in 1894 for $57,000. The electricity was provided by generators turned by waterpower. The power plant was located at Eighth and Race street on the Eel River. In 1911, a cable carrier was constructed to move coal from the Vandalia railroad across the Eel River, to the power plant, cheapening the handling of coal.

Bring in the steam…

In August of 1958, a steam-powered generator was installed to provide the expanding need for electricity. This system was further improved in 1970 with the installation of a dual-fired, (gas or oil) turbine generator. Electricity for the system was provided by two coal-fired steam generating plants of 16,500 KW and 22,000 KW capacity. The remaining needs were purchased wholesale from Duke Energy until the end of 2018.

Ongoing changes

In 1993, the plant's emissions controls are upgraded that prevent 99 percent of soot particles from being released into the air. In 2012, a request was made for proposals to develop a plant powered by refuse-derived fuel with forthcoming regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would make it more expensive to burn coal. The generator plant closed in April 2016. The facility's air permit with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management couldn't be renewed in January 2016 because the plant was not equipped to follow new emissions rules from the EPA and upgrades were deemed too expensive.

Reliable service continues

LMU now distributes electricity from NextEra Energy, Inc. The distribution system transmits this electricity to businesses and residences in the servicing area, using more than twenty miles of transmission lines to seven substations. At these locations, the electricity is transformed to a usable level and distributed to the businesses and homes in the area. Electricity is provided to more than 12,600 customers. This service uses 400 miles of lines to serve these customers and the street lighting for the city. This service is maintained 24 hours per day with 36 employees. The electric department facilities are located at 728 Bringhurst Street and 824 Michigan Avenue.

River waterworks

Low-head dams, sometimes called weirs, were built extensively in the 1800s to raise the water level upstream on rivers in Indiana to assist with navigation by boats, create drops for generating hydropower, or make water available for drinking and irrigation.

The 10th Street Dam on the Eel River in Logansport was constructed in 1854 and completed in 1857 for the Logansport Waterworks and Electric Company. The plant for the Logansport Waterworks Company was built in 1876, and that of the Logansport Electric Company in 1895. The Dam is no longer used and is planned for removal in fall 2021, along with the second, smaller dam built in 1835, that crosses the Eel River between the 10th Street Dam and the confluence with the Wabash River.

Providing clean water

In 1914, water was provided to the Logansport community with a filter plant built next to the electric generating plant. The system was improved in 1954 when a water treatment plant was built. This plant removed water from the Eel River, treated it with chemicals, and distributed it to the community. The capacity of this plant was six million gallons of water per day. The water was treated with aluminum sulfate, potassium permanganate, and chlorine. Fluoride was also added before the water was distributed to the users.

No major additions were made to the original facility until 1978. Improvements made at that time included rehabilitation and modification to the existing treatment units, additional primary and secondary capacity, and new sludge conditioning facilities.

Maintaining water ways

The old water plant was located at 11th and Race Streets, on the Eel river. It was decommissioned in late 2013 due to the plant being outdated. The current water department is housed at 728 Bringhurst Street, serving around 7,300 customers with 6 employees monitoring a well field distribution system 24\7. The Distribution & Collection crew is also located at the field office and those 11 employees are tasked with operating and maintaining 123 miles of water main, 135 miles of sewer main, and 20 miles of stormwater piping.

Wastewater treatment

A wastewater treatment plant was built in 1958 at 1400 West Wabash Avenue. In 1982, the Logansport Wastewater Plant was recognized as the safest plant in Indiana. In 1984, another improvement was completed which increased the treating capacity to nine million gallons per day. In 2000, chlorination/dichlorination system was expanded and changes were made to the plant’s biosolids classification switching it from Class A to a Class B sludge.

From 2014-2016, the High Flow/Wet Weather Abatement Project included a number of improvements including the addition of two secondary clarifiers, the implementation of phosphorus treatment via chemical addition and precipitation and converting the original 1958 plant aerator basins and secondary clarifiers into EQ basins.

The current wastewater treatment plant is staffed by 16 employees. Nearly 7,500 customers are served by the facility and the largest industrial customer is Tyson Foods, which contributes approximately 30% to the dry weather plant influent flow.

Utility Service Board

Since 1978, the Utility Service Board, in accordance with a voter referendum, governs LMU. This five-member board consists of three Mayoral appointees and two City Council appointees. Each member is appointed for a four-year term. A Superintendent of Utilities is responsible for the operation of LMU while the board is responsible for establishing general policy. The board also approves an annual budget and recommends rates and charges. Action by the Logansport City Council is required to make the rates and charges legally enforceable.

LMU’s superintendent and customer service offices are located in the Logansport city building at 601 E Broadway Street.

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© 2021 Logansport Utilities

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