Construction continued throughout this spring despite the COVID-19 pandemic. With travel being halted across the country, crews worked to get all three projects completed in preparation for when the equipment manufacturers could travel again. Below is a summary of the work completed at the Olathe Water Treatment Plant this spring.
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Construction of the new chlorine dioxide disinfection facilities is mostly complete. While we have been running water through the new contact basin since January, the chlorine dioxide generation and feed system has been under construction and is now ready to be started up. Start-up will take place this summer, beginning with the manufacturer or the system carefully testing the operation of the system with water. Later this summer, chlorine dioxide generation will begin as we slowly step up the amount of chlorine dioxide that is fed to the untreated water.
Top and Bottom Left: The new chlorine dioxide generators and storage tanks. Top Right: The new chlorine dioxide contact basin, where chlorine dioxide will combine with untreated water for disinfection. Bottom Right: Two storage tanks which store chemicals needed to generate chlorine dioxide.
Lime Feed Improvements. Construction of this project is complete, and we’ve entered the start-up phase where the equipment is tested and then allowed to operate at full scale. At the end of May, the manufacturer of the lime feed equipment arrived on-site to begin thoroughly testing the equipment with water to ensure all equipment works as intended. Four truckloads of lime were delivered to the silos; ultimately, twenty truckloads of lime will be needed to fill the silos! The next step is to begin making lime and feeding it to the treatment basins.
Top Left: A lime slaker located on the second level of the building, where lime combines with water to form a slurry. Bottom Left: A view of the top of the lime slurry tank, where lime slurry is stored until it is needed. Center: A dosing assembly at Basin two, where lime is fed to facilitate the softening process. Top Right: Lime feed pumps, will transfer lime slurry from the lime slurry tank to the treatment basins. Bottom Right: A tanker truck of lime providing the first truckload to the north silo.
Basin Modifications. Basin two was put online in April. Our operations staff has been tracking the treatment quality of the basin, and to date, it is providing better water quality than it did before construction. Basin four, which will receive all new equipment similar to Basin two, will be constructed beginning in September.
Left: A view of Basin two from the underside. Mixing of lime takes place within the center “skirt” and the spokes near the top convey treated water out of the basin and on to the next treatment process. Top Right: The bottom of the basin in the center, which was reconfigured during construction to provide improved treatment. Bottom Right: Views of the pipe into the basin (the long pipe in the background) and the pipe out of the basin (the short pipe that is turned 90 degree). Each pipe is three-feet in diameter.
January and February have been busy months with the completion of key project milestones. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of our contractor, Crossland Heavy, and our water treatment plant staff, our hard work was rewarded with the startup of the contact basin and the completion of Basin 2. Below is a summary of the work completed at the Olathe Water Treatment Plant over the last two months.
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. A significant milestone was achieved in January – the contact basin was started up by running untreated water from the well field through it. Getting to this point was a multi-step process, involving careful coordination, interruption to plant operation, and hard work by both City staff and Crossland Heavy.
First, the fill pipe for the contact basin was connected to the existing large-diameter water transmission line coming from the well field. This connection was supposed to be the easiest of the buried piping work; however, crews discovered that valves that hold water back from the connection location were not sealing. After some trial-and-error, the contractor devised an innovative pumping operation to keep the area dry for their work. Pumps were set up to pump the water from the valves up the hill to the treatment basins. This operation continued for 24 hours while the connection was completed.
Pumping operation for the raw water line pipe connection.
Next, piping connections from the contact basin to the treatment basins were completed. The existing pipes carrying untreated water to the treatment basins were in the way of the new pipes; therefore, they had to be cut out of the way and the new pipes installed. Cutting the old pipes out of the way meant that the treatment plant had to be shut down while the work was completed. This is where our storage tanks within the distribution system were critical – because of those tanks, as well as the hard work by our staff and Crossland Heavy, our customers never experienced an interruption of water service.
Left: Buried piping to treatment basins before pipe connection work (looking to the east). Right: New buried piping to treatment basins after pipe connection work (looking to the west).
Finally, water was ready to be sent through the contact basin. After a short time bringing the water level to the top, water successfully flowed through the contact basin and on to the treatment basins for the first time.
Although we’ve started running water through the contact basin, the chlorine dioxide portion of the project is still in progress. In February, the chlorine dioxide generation equipment arrived at the site and Crossland promptly started the process of installing it.
Left: A chlorine dioxide generator. Right: A storage tank for chlorine dioxide after it is generated.
Lime Feed Improvements. Most of the lime feed equipment has been installed, with the exception of the pumps that will transfer lime to the treatment basin. Crossland has now turned their attention to installing the piping that connects the equipment while electricians work to provide power to the equipment.
Lime equipment on the first level of the Lime Feed Building.
Basin Modifications. Significant progress has been made on Basin 2 over the past two months. The equipment has been installed and the final paint coatings are complete. At the end of this month, startup of the basin begins, with full service of the basin expected in mid-March.
A progression of the Basin 2 construction. Left: During structural modifications of the basin shell (photo credit: Crossland Heavy Contractors). Top Right: Basin equipment mid-installation (photo credit: Crossland Heavy Contractors). Bottom Right: Complete and ready for start-up.
With one year of construction now under our belts, construction now heads into the homestretch. December accomplishments include:
- Alternative Disinfection. Workers completed the finishing touches at the contact basin, including stairs, walkways, handrail, and ladders. Attention now turns to getting the contact basin ready to fill with water. To do this, a large diameter connection to the existing raw water line will be completed in the coming weeks.
- Lime Feed Improvements. Crews have begun working on interior electrical, HVAC, and plumbing for the building, while continuing to install the new lime feed equipment.
- Basin Modifications. Crews completed concrete structural modifications of Basin 2 and are installing new equipment. In January, they will complete pipe connections and start up the new equipment.
Left: The lower level of the Lime Feed Building with lime storage tanks installed. Top Right: Basin 2 equipment installation. Bottom Right: New raw water tie-in to be completed soon. The existing 54” raw water pipe, which is colored white, is in the foreground and the open-ended pipe is the new 36” raw water pipe. The disinfection contact tank and building are shown in the background.
Work at Water Treatment Plant 2 is forging ahead, and we are starting to get a sense of what the completed projects will look like. Here’s what we’ve been up to for the past couple months.
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. All concrete work at the disinfection contact basin has been completed and crews are currently working to add stairs, walkways, and flow control gates to the basin. The chemical building also is being finished with the following work completed over the last month:
- Masonry walls completed
- Structural roof installed
- Interior bulk chemical storage tanks set in place
- Interior raw water piping to contact basin and flow meter installed
Within the next month, we expect chlorine dioxide generation equipment to begin arriving to the site.
Left: An overview of the disinfection project progress. Top Right: A drone view of the disinfection contact basin; photo credit: Crossland Heavy Contractors. Bottom Left: Two bulk chemical storage tanks installed. Bottom Right: Raw water piping through the building into the disinfection contact basin.
Lime Feed Improvements. The Lime Feed Building continues to progress, with the following building finishes completed in the last month:
- Interior steel equipment platforms
- Exterior masonry walls and interior sheetrock completed for the electrical room
- Roofing of both the main building and the electrical room
- Completion of exterior and interior stairs
Pieces of the lime feed equipment have started arriving to the site. To date, the lime slaker tanks, which combine dry lime (stored above in the lime silos) with water, have been installed on the second level of the building. In the coming weeks, more of the lime feed equipment will be installed as it arrives to the site.
Top Left: One of the two new lime slaker tanks installed on the second level of the Lime Feed Building. Right: An overview of the Lime Feed Building. Bottom Left: Interior of the electrical room being finished out.
Basin Modifications. The new 8-inch sludge pipe, which will carry settled particles away from the basin for disposal, was successfully constructed in October. Rather than digging an open trench 20 feet deep for the 100-foot distance, the contractor opted to bore the pipeline. This option limited the amount of deep excavations and ensured that critical plant pipelines and electrical feeds, which would have been exposed in an open trench, remained undisturbed.
The concrete shell of Basin 2 has also undergone modifications over the last month. A center sump has been excavated and formed, which will improve the treatment efficiency once the new equipment is in place. The side walls of the basin have also been extended upwards with concrete.
Top Left: The new center sump at Basin 2; photo Credit: Crossland Heavy Contractors. Right: An exposed portion of the new 20-foot deep 8-inch sludge pipe where it will connect to the Sludge Pump Station. Bottom Left: A view of the outside of Basin 2 where the south half of the wall has been extended upwards (right) and the north half of the wall has been formed and waiting for concrete (left).
The month of September has been about building walls and lime silos. Things are changing quickly at Water Treatment Plant 2. September accomplishments include:
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Work continues on the smaller interior concrete walls of the contact basin. We anticipate that all concrete work on the basin will be complete next month. The walls of the disinfection building, which will house the treatment chemicals and equipment, have been started and are expected to be completed in early October.
Left: An overview of the disinfection project progress. Top right: The east side of the disinfection building with masonry nearly complete. Bottom right: The west side of the disinfection building with masonry in progress.
Lime Feed Improvements. The Lime Feed Building now has walls and lime silos. The walls of the Lime Feed Building are pre-cast concrete panels that were manufactured off-site. Once brought to the site, a crane gently set them into place. The process of setting the walls in place took approximately two weeks, which is much faster than conventional concrete construction, which could have taken a three or four months. The time-lapse video shows the building wall construction:
The new lime silos arrived on site mid-September. At 14 feet in diameter, the silos were shipped on two oversized trucks from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Two cranes carefully lifted the silos off of the truck and set them into place atop the support structures constructed last month. The silos are now being outfitted with a spiral staircase for access to the tops. The time-lapse video shows the lime silo placement:
In the coming weeks, crews will be working on the building roof, masonry walls for the electrical room, and the interior elevated platforms that will hold the rest of the equipment when it arrives.
Top left: The north lime silo is being set in place. Bottom left: A view of the lime silos from below, inside the new building. Right: Lime silo installation complete.
Basin Modifications. With the transition to fall, crews have resumed work on the treatment basins, starting with Basin 2. Work on this basin will be extensive, and includes:
- Demolition of the existing equipment down to the concrete tank
- Adding concrete to the walls of the tank to raise the tops by two feet
- Demolition of the bottom center of the basin to make way for a new concrete sump pit in its place
- Construction of a new sludge pipe, which carries the particles that have settled out of the water away from the basin for disposal
- Installation of all new equipment.
These improvements will replace aging infrastructure and improve the treatment performance of Basin 2. This month, crews have demolished the existing equipment and are preparing to start the concrete work.
Left: The center column of Basin 2, mid-demolition. Top right: Demolition of the existing equipment is complete; the existing concrete tank structure remains. Bottom right: The new basin equipment has arrived at the site and is awaiting installation.
The Water Treatment Plant 2 landscape is changing as both new structures are rising out the ground. Work is also beginning below ground with piping that will connect the new facilities to the existing plant. Check out all that we have accomplished during August.
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. The contact basin, which will provide disinfection of water from the Kansas River well field, is taking shape as approximately 75% of the walls have been constructed. The floor slab of the building, which will house the treatment chemicals and equipment, has also been poured. By next month, all the major concrete work on this project should be finished.
Work has started this month on large diameter piping that will convey water to and from the process.
Top Left: View of the interior walls of the contact basin. Top Right: A view of the disinfection project progress from atop the existing lime silos. Bottom Left: The floor slab of the disinfection building has been poured. Bottom Right: The 48” raw water line, which brings water to the plant from the well field, has been exposed for connection to the new contact basin.
Lime Feed Improvements. The Lime Feed Building is starting to go vertical with construction of the lime silo support structures. These structures will elevate the lime silos to a total height of 95 feet above the ground. The lime silos are currently being fabricated in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and will arrive to the site next month. At 14 feet in diameter and 66 feet tall, they will store 240 tons of dry lime. The rest of the equipment that makes up the lime storage and feed system will arrive separately at a later date.
The building slab has been poured and is ready for the precast concrete walls to be put in place within the next two weeks.
Top Left: An overview of the progress of the new lime feed building. Bottom Left: New lime silos being manufactured in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Right: Lime silo support structures have been erected and the building slab is being poured.
Basin Modifications. It is almost time for the Basin Modifications project to start up again after a brief hiatus over the summer season. Next month, Basin 2 will be taken off-line for work to begin. The new basin equipment has been delivered but is currently being painted off-site to speed up the construction schedule. As they are finished, pieces of the equipment are being delivered to the project site.
Left: The rake structure for Basin 2. Right: Pieces of the center cone structure for Basin 2.
As the temperatures outside are heating up, so is the construction at Water Treatment Plant 2! Significant progress, as shown below, has been made over the last few months with the completion of the new water storage tank and advancement of the chlorine dioxide contact basin.
Water Storage Tank Replacement. June brought the end of the tank construction – another milestone achieved on the project! Wire-wrapping of the tank was completed, an off-white coating was painted over the exterior shotcrete surface, and the inside of the tank was disinfected. We took a sneak peak at the completed interior of the tank on Facebook; if you missed that video, you can catch it here .
All that’s left to be done on this project is to restore the area around the tank, which crews will complete during the fall seeding season.
Left: Tank interior showing a baffle wall (left) and the outside wall (right). Right: The finished tank complete with final coating, ladders, and hatches.
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Construction of the contact basin has begun. This basin will provide disinfection of the untreated water to meet regulatory requirements. Last month, the tank slab was poured; it was large enough that it had to be poured at two separate times. This month, the basin is going vertical with construction of the exterior walls, which are 30 feet tall. Work also continues on the chemical containment boxes that will be part of the adjacent building.
Top Left: The east wall of the contact basin is being formed and rebar placed. Bottom Left: An up-close look at the contact basin slab rebar. Right: A view of the disinfection project progress from the top of the existing lime silos.
Lime Feed Improvements. The foundations for the lime feed building are nearly complete. The square pier caps, which will transfer weight from the lime silos to the underground piers, were poured last month. Strip footings that support the building were also constructed. This month, underslab pipes and electrical conduit are being installed in preparation for completion of the building’s floor slab.
An overview of the progress of the new lime feed building.
Despite record rainfall for the month of May, construction is forging ahead at Water Treatment Plant 2. Below is what we’ve completed this month.
Water Storage Tank Replacement. After all panels were placed for the walls and roof, the spaces between the panels were filled in with concrete. Crews then sprayed the outside of the tank with a layer of shotcrete, or concrete that is sprayed during application, and began wrapping and tightening the tank with high-strength steel wire. The wire ensures the panels remain compressed together for a durable tank structure. The video shows the process used to wire-wrap the tank.
Left: The top third of the tank has received a layer of shotcrete and has been wire-wrapped. Right: The top two-thirds of the tank has been wire-wrapped and received another layer of shotcrete. The bottom third of the tank is awaiting the wire-wrapping process.
Basin Modifications. Basin 3 work is complete, and the basin has been put back in service just in time for the peak water use season. Hopefully you caught our two videos on Facebook last week where we took an inside look at the basin equipment then filled it up to start treating water.
The video below shows what the center of the basin looks like when in operation. Lime is added and mixed in the center, then flows to the outside of the basin where it spends a couple hours or more and particles settle to the bottom. The treated water comes into the middle ring and travels on to the next process.
Work on this part of the project will be suspended over the summer and will begin again in September with work on Basin 2.
Left: A view of Basin 3 under the center structure, where lime is mixed with the untreated water. Middle: A view of the Basin 3 equipment from inside the structure. Right: Basin 3 back in operation.
Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Work continues on the below-grade concrete structures that house flow meters and chemical containment. This month, work began on the chemical containment boxes that will be inside of the building; these containment boxes will be used for two chemicals that are used to generate chlorine dioxide. The slab was poured, walls are being formed, and reinforcing steel is being placed.
Chlorine dioxide disinfection facilities under construction.
Lime Feed Improvements. This month the pier foundation that will support the new lime silos was completed. Eight piers were drilled 40 feet deep to bedrock, then filled with reinforcing steel and concrete.
Left: The drilling rig starts its first pier of the project. Top: The concrete pump truck fills a pier hole with concrete. Bottom Left: A 40-foot deep pier hole. Right: A pier completed with reinforcing and concrete.
Construction is in full swing with all four projects underway. Here’s what we’ve been up to in April.
Water Storage Tank Replacement. While high winds hampered the tank construction for about a week in April, the precast wall panels are now being put into place and the structure is starting to look like a tank. A large crane is on-site to “fly” the panels into their designated locations. Next month, concrete will be poured between the panels to complete the walls and roof of the tank.
The new 36-inch bypass pipe around the tank is complete – our first milestone on the project. With this bypass line we are able to operate our membrane treatment process again, which is important as water use is ramping up with the warmer temperatures.
Top Left: Tank construction crews finish recently-poured concrete for a tank dome (roof) panel. Bottom Left: All interior walls and half of the exterior walls have been placed. Scaffolding is in place for construction of the tank dome. Right: A large crane is used to place the first panel of the tank before high winds halted the construction for a week.
Basin Modifications. Painting of Basin 3 is complete. The basin now looks fresh and clean, and more importantly, the new paint will protect the steel equipment from corrosion and rusting. New equipment in the center of the basin will be installed within the next couple of weeks. Following that installation next month, Basin 3 will be put back into operation and ready for the peak summer season.
Basin 3 before painting (left) and after painting (right).
Lime Feed Improvements and Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Work is forging ahead on the disinfection structure. The below-grade concrete structures that house flow meters and chemical containment are underway. Base rock has been placed for the new lime feed building and the pier foundation will soon be constructed.
Chlorine dioxide disinfection facilities under construction.
Left: Base rock has been laid and compacted for the lime feed building. Right: Rebar has been formed into cages for the pier foundation, to be drilled in early May.
With the warmer March temperatures work on the Water Treatment Plant 2 project has ramped up! While we aren’t up to full speed yet, it’s fun to see some of the new facilities get started. Here is what we have accomplished in March:
Water Storage Tank Replacement. The floor of the tank is being prepared for concrete with formwork construction and rebar placement. The interior and exterior walls of the tank, which are built on the ground as individual panels that will later be tilted into place, have also been formed and crews are placing rebar. Concrete will be poured for the floor and wall panels over the next few weeks.
The new 36-inch bypass pipe around the tank is approximately half done. The next step is for the pipe crew to connect to the existing 42-inch pipe, which resides approximately 10 feet below ground, and lay pipe to the north.
Top: The floor of the tank is ready for rebar placement, followed by concrete. Bottom Left: A tank wall panel has had rebar placed and is ready for concrete. Bottom Right: Crews have located where the 36-inch diameter bypass pipe will tie into the existing 42-inch diameter piping and read to lay pipe from the connection.
Basin Modifications. Painting work continues on Basin 3. The existing paint was sandblasted from the equipment and the prime coat of paint has been applied. Over the next two weeks, the second and third coats of paint will be applied.
A look inside at the primer coating of Basin 3. The primer coat is red, the second and third coats will be a light blue color
Lime Feed Improvements and Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Dirt fill to raise the elevation of the ground is resuming with the warmer and drier conditions. The lowest concrete floors of the chlorine dioxide building have also been excavated out and are being prepared for concrete.
Crews placing rebar for the floor of part of the new chlorine dioxide building. This part of the building, once complete, will house a flow meter that will measure the amount of flow coming into the plant from the water supply wells.
In April, we look forward to the water storage tank taking shape with erection of the interior and exterior wall panels; completion of the painting of Basin 3; completion of the site dirt fill for the Lime Feed and Disinfection facilities (weather permitting); and continued progress on the new chlorine dioxide building.
January and February have been slow months for the project thanks to the weather! The rain, snow, and cold temperatures have hampered, but not stopped, the construction progress. Here is a brief overview of what has been accomplished over the last month:
Water Storage Tank Replacement. This month, crews have been working to dig a hole approximately 10 feet deep and 80 feet wide to fill with gravel as a foundation for the new tank. Work has also begun on a 36-inch pipeline around the tank that will allow for operational flexibility during construction and beyond when the tank is out of service for maintenance.
Preparation of the site and foundation for the new concrete water storage tank.
Basin Modifications. Demolition work was completed on Basin 1. This basin is the oldest basin at the plant and will not be used in the future; therefore, the old equipment was removed. The concrete structure will remain in place to be repurposed in the future.
Metal repairs on the equipment inside Basin 3 were completed. Following the repairs, a tent over the basin was constructed for the purpose of containing material and keeping the inside of the basin warm for painting. Over the next two months, the existing paint will be sandblasted off the equipment and it will be repainted.
Basin 3 is covered with a tent for sandblasting and painting of the equipment inside.
Lime Feed Improvements and Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Before these facilities can be started in earnest, dirt must be brought in to raise the elevation of the west side of the site five to eight feet. This process requires dry ground conditions and temperatures above freezing. January and February have been wet and cold with only about two weeks’ worth of good weather for compacting the dirt; therefore, only about 20% of the new dirt has been placed.
Dirt fill for new Lime Feed and Disinfection buildings.
In March, we look forward to starting on the new concrete water tank, painting of Basin 3, and completing site dirt fill for the Lime Feed and Disinfection facilities if the weather cooperates.
In December 2018, the City of Olathe Public Works Department started on exciting upgrades at Water Treatment Plant 2 (WTP2.) Originally built in 1964 and last expanded in 2006, WTP2 provides drinking water to approximately 135,000 residents in Olathe and surrounding areas.
The City has partnered with Crossland Heavy Contractors, Black & Veatch, and HDR to design and construct approximately $17 million of upgrades at WTP2 over the next two years. These upgrades will rehabilitate critical treatment plant infrastructure, improve the taste and quality of the drinking water, and ensure reliable operation into the future for delivering delicious drinking water to all customers.
The major components of the project are:
- Lime Feed Improvements. Lime is added to the treatment basins to soften the water. New lime storage silos and a building to house associated equipment will replace existing silos and equipment. The new facilities will provide improved safety for staff who operate and maintain the system and will ensure reliable operation of the treatment process.
- Basin Modifications. The plant has three treatment basins that, with the lime addition, soften and remove particles in untreated water. Two treatment basins need equipment replacement, while equipment in the third basin will be repaired and repainted. These improvements will result in improved treatment efficiency and will ensure the integrity of the softening process now and into the future.
- Water Storage Tank Replacement. The steel water storage tank will be demolished, and a new concrete storage tank will be built in its place. The new concrete tank will have an extended service life to store treated water until it is pumped into town.
- Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection Facilities. Disinfecting drinking water is an important step, removing microbial pathogens that may be present in untreated water from the Kansas River. New chlorine dioxide disinfection facilities will replace existing disinfection facilities. The new facilities will ensure that all disinfection processes comply with federal drinking water regulations, while also improving the taste and odor of the drinking water.
The City of Olathe takes pride in providing high quality water to all customers, and these upgrades will ensure that remains the case into the future. Check back regularly for updates as the project progresses, and be sure to follow the City of Olathe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at construction activities!