The Fridley City Council approved a bid and awarded a contract for the improvements to the Locke Park water treatment plant.
The City of Fridley’s Locke Park water treatment plant was originally constructed in 1969. The plant was upgraded in 1993. Improvements include building and process piping modifications, as well as electrical and control improvements.
The plant consists of two public water supply wells, two pressure filter tanks with filtration media and air wash grids, process piping, control valves and chemical treatment equipment.
Each filter tank at Locke Park is equipped with air wash grids for backwashing the media. Following the backwash cycle, the turbid backwash water is initially routed to the sanitary sewer via gravity.
“After discharging into the sewer for a set period of time, the remaining effluent is diverted to the storm drain,” said Public Works Director James Kosluchar. “Then it gets conveyed into Rice Creek. That is our current operation and that operation is not foolproof. We have had exceedances.”
Currently there is an air wash grid failure in filter tank one and the city is unable to backwash either tank with reliability.
Valves, actuators and associated appurtenances are also corroded.
“Continual maintenance is required by staff to keep the valves functioning,” said Kosluchar. “This plant has not been in full operation for over two years.”
Treatment plant improvements
Given the last major upgrades were made over two decades ago and due to ongoing operation deficiencies, the city retained the engineering services of SEH, Inc. to assist in the design of the water treatment plant improvements.
“The project is for improving the reliability of the plant filter operation, improved treatment of the public water supply and filter backwash water re-use,” said Kosluchar.
Overall improvements include refurbishing the existing filter tanks, replacing control valves, modifications to the process piping, dedicated chemical storage rooms, new chemical feed equipment and a new backwash recovery tank.
The environment will also benefit from the plants new backwash reclaim basin.
“The city will eliminate approximately 95 percent waste of public water resources and discontinue discharge to Rice Creek, which eliminates possible surface water quality issues or violations,” said Kosluchar.
During the March 25 council meeting, the city accepted bids and awarded a contract for the project.
Seven bids were received and two competitive bids came in below the engineer’s estimate of $3.5 million. Magney Constriction of Chanhassen submitted the lowest bid in the amount of $3,349,000, which is seven percent lower than the engineer’s estimate.
“With the information provided with their bid, we have determined that they have a sufficient understanding of the project and they are capable in performing the construction,” said Kosluchar.
The water plant improvement project is included in the city’s 2019 Capital Investment Program and will be funded from an interfund loan from the Community Investment Fund, which will be repaid through the Water Utility Fund reserves over a 10-year period.
“Basically, the project is funded by everyone’s water rates in Fridley,” said Kosluchar.
The project is expected to be complete by mid-December 2019.