If you look forward to better drinking water, good news awaits you. Pierre’s new water treatment plant is moving faster than expected.
According to Darin Pfingsten, president and owner of PKG Contracting Inc. from Fargo, ND, work on Pierre’s future water treatment plant is about two months ahead of schedule
The groundbreaking ceremony was on August 7, and drinking water is expected to flow from the $ 37.5 million facility to the Pierre faucets in October 2022.
The project was designed for a peak demand of 8.8 million gallons per day. Although there will be a transition during commissioning, once the plant is online, it could reach this peak. The average demand of the current drinking water system is 2.72 million gallons per day. With regular maintenance and repair, the officials expect the new system to have a service life of at least 50 years.
During a media tour on March 16, Pentecost said that an enormous “dance” with planning, coordinating the time and order of material deliveries and the readiness of the crews to work on each stage had been relaxed by an overall mild winter. Only part of the planning was the coordination with the separate upcoming vehicle bridge project over the Missouri.
The inlet line of the water system, which draws water from the Missouri River, is north of the railroad bridge, far upstream from the future vehicle bridge. To the north of the bridges is just a 40 “by 40” congruent concrete building. Otherwise the underwater and underground pipes will not be visible. The only “footprint” of the water treatment plant, even south of the vehicle bridge, will be a concrete building that has already been laid out, which the audience watched for months as its ever-growing concrete mass was poured.
The main building has an upcoming concrete floor on the main level which, due to its design, must be a solid cast. Reinforcing bars surrounding the pipelines are already in place, waiting for a 30-hour pour, which will require several shifts of 20 workers.
“We have to have a bluebird tag for this cast. We have to have perfect conditions, ”said Pentecost.
Fort Pierre subcontractor Pete Lien and Sons provides all of the concrete, which will be poured between 60 and 70 square feet per hour to complete.
After completion, the entire structure of the water treatment plant will contain 4,000 square meters of concrete, according to Pentecost.
“Hundreds of thousands of pieces of rebar – 70 tons and 40 feet long – are included in this project,” Pentecost said.
“Our biggest concern with COVID was the filing processes,” Pentecost said. “We had delays on the drawings which forced us to really be at the forefront of suppliers – lots of phone calls, then constant compliance checks by the engineer.”
Although the Pierre water treatment plant project adds an average of $ 1 per day to every residential water bill, an unprecedented 73% of Pierre voters approved the construction of the $ 37.5 million plant. After the vote, the city guides carried out an increase in the water rate. Rate adjustments will be made gradually until the project is completed. The rate hike was incorporated into the electoral language when the project underwent a public vote in June 2018.
With giant cranes – weightlifting and wet cement elevator arms – highlighting the project, the construction of the facility in a city park south of the Pierre side of the Missouri Bridge is being overseen by the community. The ultrafiltration system eventually serves approximately 14,000 people within the city limits of Pierre and draws surface water from the river, treats it and then directs it into the distribution system.
“This is a really big investment that has a direct impact on the finances of every household in town,” said Steve Harding, Mayor of Pierre. “We have gone to great lengths to ensure that all of our citizens understand both the positive and negative consequences of the decision.”
The company sees local companies as subcontractors for the project, said Madison “Madi” Gropp, the project engineer at PKG.
“We will have around 24 subcontractors for the entire duration of the project. Our subcontractors and suppliers in the extended region of Pierre are Allied Plumbing and Heating, Country Rugs and Floors, Puetz Design & Build, Oahe Glass, Overhead Door by Pierre, AGE Corporation, Pete Lien & Sons, as well as Aaron Swan and AET providing testing services for the project, ”said Gropp.
The treatment plant will replace the city’s decades-old well system, which will extract the raw groundwater, treat it at the well head and then pump it into six reservoirs for distribution. The well system meets all national and state-wide drinking water safety standards, although it has a high iron and manganese content.
Much of the community is used to the dark stains that outdoor sprinklers have left on sidewalks, retaining walls, and building walls. The current water can also pollute water-using devices such as washing machines.
Residents are so affected by the side effects of mineral content that 64% of respondents, after completing a community survey in 2015, are considering building a facility to combat the high mineral content. The city commission has included a water study in its budget for the following year. Mid-Dakota and Mni Wiconi are other water systems near Pierre, but none produce enough water to meet the city’s needs.
In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began collecting more data to determine whether manganese in drinking water should be regulated.
“Regardless of whether regulatory changes are made regarding manganese, the new drinking water treatment plant will remove manganese from the water,” said Brooke Bohnenkamp, development director for the Pierre Community.
“The city of Pierre gets all of its raw water from a series of wells on the east bank of the Missouri and on LaFramboise Island,” said Bohnenkamp. “The wells draw water from the Missouri aquifer. The first well, Hole # 1, was drilled in 1927. Two additional holes were drilled in the 1930s, four from 1940 to 1970, three in the 1970s, one in 1990 and two in 2003 for a total of 13 holes. Two of these wells have been abandoned in recent years because they weren’t the best producing wells in town and had poor overall water quality. “
The current system includes three pumping stations to move water from the wells to the higher areas. There are also five ground storage tanks and one above ground storage tank that were built between 1950 and 2004.
Fluoride is added to the water in every well house. Over the past decade, a phosphate-based chemical has been added to sequester iron and manganese. It also helps control corrosion on the distribution pipes that are more than 100 miles long. Until the new system is operational, the city will use its downhole system, which will continue to be used as a backup system.
The new treatment plant will comply with the surface water quality rule set by the South Dakota Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. This requires a large number of different water tests at different intervals; Some tests are done daily, some weekly, and some monthly. In addition, the devices are calibrated and monitored daily. The new treatment process removes iron and manganese from the treated water.
The city said this means the treated water should not stain sidewalks or building walls, reduce water hardness by about 30%, and reduce the mineral taste that some people notice in Pierre’s current drinking water.
The project is managed by a Contract Manager at Risk (CMAR). That means the cost is guaranteed. AE2S is the registered engineering office and PKG Contracting Inc. is the site manager at risk. The project is funded by a 30 year loan from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of South Dakota.
(Cutline) The crews started moving the massive water treatment plant around 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The ends were sealed and the length inflated with air, making the entire section buoyant so it could be positioned before sinking into precisely position.