FPU's new water treatment plant construction progresses

Construction of Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) new water treatment plant is progressing through the spring months as foundations arebasins_tanks poured, pipes are laid and the new plant continues to take shape.

The new water treatment plant has not only been a long-awaited vision for FPU, but also a necessity for the community.

In 2014, FPU awarded the construction bid for $7.9 million. Funding for the plant mostly comes from the Rural Utilities Services (RUS) loan under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Before construction of the plant facility itself began, FPU had to secure the membrane filtration system around which the new plant is being constructed. The new filtration system will improve water quality and availability for FPU customers and will serve projected growth of the community for the next several decades.

At right is a view of the flash mix, flocculation, sedimentation and a portion of the equilization basin. As water is taken from the Elk River, it must first be pretreated with coagulants and other chemicals to aid in the subsequent treatment processes. This structure contains a 16-inch static mixer and chemical feed equipment to accomplish this first step in the process. The new plant has redundant trains for the flocculation and sedimentation processes which allow for maintenance and cleaning without a plant shutdown. Each train consists of two flocculation basins followed by a sedimentation basin and finally an equalization basin. The splitter box uses large gates to allow operators to adjust flows between the two trains as needed.

The concrete and rebar seen in the foreground will support the walls of the flocculation basins, which when complete, will be about 17-feet tall.

The next photo is of the membrane building floor under construction. This is a small representation of the extensive piping being placed underground and under the floor slab. The existing plant, seen in the background, continues to operate during the new plant construction.

The new water treatment plant will include a state-of-the-art SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. Power and control wiring in the thousands of feet will be required to energize and control the membrane filters, pumps and instruments. In addition to conventional copper wiring, fiber optic cable will also be used to provide secure and reliable connectivity.membrane_floor

The photo on the left shows the construction of the main plant building. The main building will include the membrane filtration system, high service pumps, a laboratory, a secure area for chemical storage and offices.

The high service pumps housed in this part of the plant will send the treated water from the plant to the FPU storage tanks and water distribution system.

FPU will keep you informed as the new water plant construction progresses throughout the year. We look forward to serving our customers better and raising the bar on water treatment as the plant nears completion by the end of 2015.