Philomath is preparing to complete the design work it needs for its new water treatment plant and its various equipment.
The city has outgrown the current South Ninth Street water treatment facility, and the plant itself is past its useful life, city officials said.
“Engineers are about 80 percent complete with the structural design of the tank structure (the reinforced concrete tank),” said Kevin Fear, director of public works.
“There are other elements that are not yet very advanced – the design of the access bridge, the detailed design of the site and the completion of the project specification set. The overall estimate is that approximately 50% of the structural design of the entire assembly is complete.
“The planning and licensing phase is pretty much over, as we needed this plan before deciding what and how to build that makes the most sense, is accessible and is the most cost effective. “
Philomath had originally hoped to begin construction last summer, but it took longer than expected for the town to receive its removal and infill permit from the Division of State Lands and the US Army Corp of Engineers. The final permit was signed on October 4, 2021.
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Fear and his team estimate that the build itself will take about a year.
“We plan to go out to tender on the first of the year and start construction of the reservoir as soon as possible,” said Chris Workman, director of Cioty. “The treatment plant will take less time to build, so it will start the first part until mid-summer 2022.”
Key elements of the upgraded system include:
• A new water intake and pumping station near the Marys River at the south end of the processing plant property.
• A new concrete tank, with a second new pumping station nearby. An access bridge will be constructed at the reservoir level across Ninth Street to connect the new devices to the new water treatment plant building.
The new infrastructure will more than double the city’s capacity, from 1 million gallons per day to 2.5 million gallons per day. Possible future expansion could bring that total to 3.75 million gallons per day.
The current factory was built in 1985 with technology that is now outdated. The new plant will use membrane filtration, which is more efficient at filtering contaminants out of the water.
“The engineer is also preparing to ask for quotes on the membrane filters,” Fear said, “so that they can find out which brand of filter they will need to hook up to as they are all a little different.”
Engineers can then, Fear said, “finish the design plans for that specific brand. The structural part of the new building of the wastewater treatment plant is finished, only the internal works and the piping remain to be fixed.
The budget is approximately $ 16 million. The increase in water tariffs and systems development costs – the one-time fees charged to developers to help pay for the infrastructure required to meet the needs of the city’s growth – kicked off the project with the works. planning and design. A state subsidy of $ 12 million will finance the construction of the plant.
The project has received opposition from community members who are concerned that the reservoir is being built on a property that is part of Marys River Park. Jeff Lamb and Don Gist say a requirement that “the park be preserved in its natural state was the reason (Betty Olson) sold the property to the Philomath 200 project in the first place.”
Lamb and Gist testified to their concerns at the Philomath city council meeting on November 8, and Lamb submitted a guest notice on the matter to Mid-Valley Media. The issue will be discussed at Monday’s meeting of Philomath City Council.
Philomath City manager Chris Workman disagrees with Lamb and Gist, noting that the city’s water master plan was updated in 2018 and includes the recommended location of the new water reservoir. water at the northwest corner of Marys River Park, next to the new water plant.
This section of the body of water reads: “The Town also owns the land on the east side of 9th Street South in front of the water treatment plant. This site should be suitable for the construction of the ground storage tank and locate the facility close to the water plant which will simplify operation. For these and other reasons, this master plan recommends the construction of a new ground storage tank near the water treatment plant.
Workman added that “the park master plan and water master plan go through a very public and open process prior to adoption, including public hearings, committee reviews and council deliberations before voting for approve them, ”Workman said. “The expected charge of ‘hiding something’ is not supported by the open process followed by the city. “