Water treatment plant renovations under way

RANGELY I After a year of work on engineering and design aspects to modify its water treatment plant, the Town of Rangely began demolition and construction for the first phase of that renovation Monday, Jan. 14.
The first phase, one of three stages projected for completion by 2015, involves replacing the clarifier, rebuilding the flocculation drives, and building new basins and filter boxes, Rangely town manager Peter Brixius said via email. The second stage, to begin early next year, will address electrical upgrades, roof repairs, valve replacement, and filter and scouring equipment, along with installing sodium hypochlorite generation equipment and chemical feed and storage equipment and tanks. Phase III will expand the plant’s clear well contact chamber and replace tube settlers on the newer side of the plant.
The renovation costs over three years are projected at $5.5 million.
“The original plant was constructed in 1976 and was modified in 1984 by adding redundancy to the plant and boosting overall capacity to four MGD (millions of gallons per day),” Brixius said in an email last week. “In the past couple of years, the original half of the plant has basically been offline due to failing equipment and machinery…(this renovation will) improve the functionality, overall capacity and operation of the water treatment plant.”
All three phases of the renovation will be funded by the Water Utility Enterprise Reserves, grants, utility rates and a State Revolving Fund Loan. The town is currently completing the loan portion of the funding, a $1.5 million request that, once approved, will be loaned at a 2 percent preferred rate, Brixius wrote.
The town originally assessed the cost of constructing a new plant and said that the renovation will cost approximately $4.5 million less than building a new facility. The renovation plans, according to Brixius, will also build in more redundancy and put out a 25 percent higher potential volume than the projected output from a new plant.
“These improvements are necessary and critical to the continued uninterrupted operation of the water treatment plant,” Brixius stated via email. “The plant improvements will lend themselves to providing a more secure potable water source, provide a safer work environment for our employees as they work with hazardous chemicals and extend the life of an existing structure another 20 to 30 years.”