WARSAW — The efforts to save the city potentially millions of dollars in construction cost is moving into phase IV of the Wastewater Collection System Infiltration/Inflow Reduction Program.
Brian Davison, city wastewater treatment utility manager, presented an agreement Friday morning, March 4, with the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety. The agreement is with Wessler Engineering, Inc., Fort Wayne, for a capital improvements plan. Adjustments were also noted in the flow monitoring phase of the project, due to unforeseen additional expenditures, at a cost of $1,250.96. The capital improvement plan is an additional $54,700.
Davison and James Emans, city engineer, both informed the commission the plan will help make a decision on whether to shore up the integrity of the system to improve the plant’s capacity or continue treatment of surface and storm sewer water flowing into the wastewater treatment plant and expand the plant.
Davison noted the plant is at 88 percent to 89 percent of capacity. Government officials, state and federal, require plans be in place when a plant reaches 90 percent of its capacity. “We’re ahead of schedule,” said Davison, noting the city has not been mandated to create a plan.
Emans stated once numbers are received, an evaluation can be made which way to go. He also stated possibly portions of the I/I issues can be undertaken in projects to reduce problems. This would extend the capacity of the plant by five to 10 years. Any projects suggested through the study would be a capital improvement project. “It could be a savings,” said Emans.
Both men said phase one of the study found a significant amount of infiltration. “Fifty percent of the flow to the plant is unbilled flow,” said Emans.
Davison stated after the first study, problem areas were divided into three sections. This totaled about a dozen areas. The red areas, or top priority areas, have been focal points of continued studies — smoke testing and flow monitoring. A report is expected by June.
Emans explained possibilities of where it may be better to treat the unbilled flow than repair. He said there are areas of aging infrastructure, especially in the downtown area. “The cost to close the streets for repair work, may out way leaving it go,” he said. Another scenario was an area where it may cost $4 million because of what would be required to remedy the problem. “It will be an evaluation of the cost to get it out vs. the cost to treat it.”
Both stated if even a portion of the I/I is eliminated, it will give an extension to the plant.