Water System Improvements
This project included construction of a new reverse osmosis water treatment plant supplied by two 1000-foot deep
water wells. The new plant took the place of the city’s two old water plants, one of which was surface water and one treated shallow well water. Approximately five miles of cast iron water main was replaced with PVC and the existing water tower was blasted down to bare metal and recoated. A new sanitary sewer lift station was also constructed to receive the concentrate water from the new system. The project included the removal of two water treatment facilities and replacement with one facility to decrease maintenance, sampling requirements, and staffing requirements that were imposed for the two plants.
The project was advertised for bidding prior to the US Federal Government shutdown of 2018-2019, delaying the bid opening by a month. The project was also still in progress during the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020. IMEG worked with the owner and contractors to provide extra time as needed to obtain specialty materials and complete work while also adhering to guidelines and restrictions.
The project was funded by a USDA Rural Development Grant/Loan, as well as a DCEO Community Development Block Grant. IMEG was responsible for coordinating and corresponding with the city, two funding agencies, five contractors, numerous subcontractors, and at least three utility companies.
IMEG was aware that the owner had a significant amount of cast iron water main in the system. This was included in the construction budget for replacement to prevent issues with the reaction between reverse osmosis treated water and encrusted cast iron water mains. It was determined that while the existing shallow well would not be capable of supplying the RO unit with enough water, it could be combined with one of the deep wells to run the RO unit. After some rehabilitation to the existing shallow well, it appears to still be in very good condition and is providing the residents a supply of water with similar taste to what they are used to.
The new water supply is a more reliable and chemically consistent source of water. The new water plant is fully automated and does not require an operator to be available at all times of the day when the system may call for water. Elimination of the city’s cast iron water main will greatly decrease the chance for costly water main breaks.