Carson City breaks ground on waste water treatment plant improvements

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Water Resource Recovery Facility on Monday morning.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Water Resource Recovery Facility on Monday morning.

Carson City’s other major public works project started Monday.

“Today we celebrate the repair, reconstruction and rehabilitation of another city infrastructure to help sustain our community,” Mayor Bob Crowell said at the groundbreaking of the $30 million Water Recovery Resource Facility construction project.

The project will overhaul and replace deteriorating systems at the city’s 50 year-old wastewater treatment plant located on 5th Street near Fairview Drive.

“We have aging water and sewer pipes in danger of failing daily,” Crowell said. “When you have a catastrophic accident it makes everything else pale in comparison.”

The Carson City Board of Supervisors earlier this month awarded the 30-month contract to K.G. Walters/Q&D Construction.

“We’ve been here over a decade. Probably half of what is built here was built by us,” Dave Backman, senior vice president, K.G. Walters, said after the ceremony.

Backman said K.G. Walters, which specializes in water and wastewater infrastructure, teamed up with Q&D to try to keep the project local.

K.G. Walters is based in Santa Rosa, Calif., and has an office in Reno.

Backman expects an average daily site crew of a few dozen, all local workers.

K.G. Walters will perform the facilities and process work on the project while Q&D does the civil engineering and earthwork, he said.

The work includes new electrical controls, a new bioreactor and repairs to the headwork pumps and sludge heaters.

In 2013, the supervisors bit the bullet and passed new water and sewer rates to be phased in over five years that allowed the city to bond for the multimillion dollar project.

Phase 1A repairs will touch on nearly every part of the wastewater treatment process, from replacing screens at the headworks where the sewage is taken in to putting in a new bioreactor consisting of two new tanks on the east side of the facility, the costliest chunk of the $30 million project, partly because it requires all new electrical equipment from NV Energy.

In between, David Bruketta, Carson City utility manager says clarifiers or in-ground settling tanks where the water is pumped from the headworks is going to be rehabbed. Then the guts of the digesters, where solids are then pumped to be reduced, will be replaced. That includes the failing heating and mixing system.

The initial plan also calls for six bid alternates, an additional $2 million in work that’s the next priority if there’s any money left over to do it. The first of those secondary priorities is fixing the screw pumps in the headworks.

Replacing the whole headworks comprises the project’s so-called phase 1B, which will be planned and bonds issued for in 2017-2018.

That should help with the odor emanating from the facility, said Bruketta, because modern plants are built with covered headworks, reducing the problem.

To define the project’s parameters, Carollo Engineers was brought in a few years ago to help the department set priorities.


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