On Nov. 8, Carson City’s Water Resource Recovery Facility will hold a ribbon cutting to mark a milestone in the plant’s makeover.
Contractors K.G. Walters Construction and Q&D Construction are now completing the $30 million first phase of the rehab a year ahead of schedule.
The bulk of the work was building a new bioreactor to replace a “temporary” aeration pond and trickling filters that lasted 30 years.
“That is the heart of the system,” said David Bruketta, utility manager, during a tour of the 5th Street facility.
New pump systems for the digesters were also installed as well as two generators that in the event of a power outage will allow the plant to continue pushing sewage through the system rather than dump it in a lined basin as it was forced to do during one emergency.
And because the project came in under budget, 40-year-old screw pumps at the headworks, where the wastewater enters the plant, are being replaced earlier than planned.
The project also validated the use of CMAR, or construction management at risk, a method that brings the designer and construction manager together earlier in the process.
The plant was the city’s second CMAR project after it was used to build the Multi-Athletic Center.
“We had a good partnership to efficiently get things done,” said Bruketta. “That’s the advantage of CMAR. It’s very collaborative.”
The project provided another lesson.
“Always hire an independent cost estimator,” said Jim Morris, project manager. “This was our second CMAR project and our first cost estimator.”
The second phase work is more straightforward, said Bruketta, so it will go out to be bid in the spring and be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder rather than use CMAR.
Construction on the $9.72 million second phase is expected to start in June and last 14 months.
A $1.22 million contract was awarded to Keller Associates in May, and the design is now about 60 percent complete.
The next phase of work will rehab or replace if necessary four clarifiers and cover the headworks, which is the main source of any odor that emanates from the plant.
The motorized controls will be replaced at the north lift pump station, where wastewater from northwest Carson City is pumped to the headworks, and at the effluent pump station, where the treated water is pumped to its golf course and prison farm users in the summer and to Brunswick Canyon Reservoir in the winter.
If any money is left over, it will go to replacing more of the electrical equipment and controls throughout the plant.