Muncie Bureau of Water Quality

Rick Conrad

5150 West Kilgore Avenue

Muncie, Indiana 47304

(765) 747-4896


Committed to Helping Sustain and Improve water quality in our West Fork White River

As part of the Muncie Sanitary District,Bureau of Water Quality (BWQ) has been monitoring and treating Muncie’s water since 1972. The BWQ was one of the first programs formed in the nation due to a former Ball State Student,John Craddock. Since the BWQ was formed,there have been numerous transformations;including a total of 34,000 pounds of toxins each year removed from the White River,and an 80% reduction in the bacterial counts.

In speaking with the director of BWQ,Rick Conrad,he says he is very excited about the coming years for the BWQ and the projects that lay ahead of them. Since Conrad has been involved with the BWQ he says that their biggest project was fixing the sewage overflows into the White River,which was a very measurable step,but nothing compared to what is ahead of them.

The districts next big project was officially launched last fall. It is a $200 million project to remove the combined sewer overflows (CSO) from the water. Conrad says,“this isn’t going to be a short project,it will most likely still be under way 20 years from now,” but he is looking forward to every bit of it. Another big project for the BWQ in the coming years is the elimination of pharmaceuticals from the White River,and other bodies of water.

The BWQ is very cautious about their water and take samples of the water on a daily basis. Along with sampling the water,they also sample the fish and wild life of the river to be sure that everything is healthy. By means of testing,the BWQ is very self-sufficient,with their own in-house labs. During the summer they hire interns to help with the testing and lab obligations.

“Having the interns around and seeing them learn and excel is very rewarding,” Conrad states. He says that having them around is very inspiring and makes it all worthwhile.

It is encouraging to know that there is someone out there really making a difference in the community,and truly enjoy what they are doing. The BWQ will continue to provide healthy water to the community and strive to improve the water quality.

One thing the BWQ wishes was better is the public awareness and support of the projects,he says they are always in need of more support and really appreciate encouragement.

Conrad says,“the water is in really great shape,and the community should be thankful for that.” He is proud of the work they have done and excited for the future.  Rick Conrad can be contacted at (765) 747-4896.  More info can be found at                   

This story written by Brittany Weaver,Ball State student intern for Sustainable Indiana 2016.

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