03/02/09 — Upgrades planned for city's water facilities

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Upgrades planned for city's water facilities

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on March 2, 2009 1:46 PM

Goldsboro's utility facilities are OK for now, but a draft of the utilities master plan study -- under way since 2008 -- states that the city's facilities will need some upgrades in the near future.

And in some cases, major repairs will need to be made soon, and new facilities might have to be built within the next 30 years. In total, if the city moves forward with all of the recommended repairs and improvements stated in the study in the next 30 years, the work could cost more than $153 million.

The final plan, which will not be completed for a few more months, is being prepared by Arcadis of Raleigh and will give city officials a guide in planning to meet water and wastewater treatment needs of its current and future customers.

The utility master plan includes suggestions on water supply projects, which is where the city gets water to treat for drinking; the water treatment plant, where raw water that is normally in rivers, streams or basins is treated for drinking and bathing; the wastewater collection system, where residents' sewage is collected and treated; and the water distribution system, which is how the city gets water to its residents.

The Neuse River is Goldsboro's main water source, but the city also maintains an intake structure on the Little River for emergency use.

The Neuse has been a reliable source to the city for more than 30 years, but its supply is dependent on Falls Dam and how much water is released from there.

So, the draft report looked into water supply alternatives for the city.

It recommended that the city develop "a groundwater system to supplement water supply during periods of peak demand or excessive drought."

Other alternatives that the utilities master plan study is looking at are interbasin transfers from neighboring watersheds, interconnections with neighboring communities, the purchase of water from Aurora Phosphate Mine in Aurora, N.C., beneficial reuse, ocean desalination and construction of a new reservoir.

Water supply projects take up the largest portion of the more than $150 million, coming in at $68.6 million.

More than $51.3 million of that will come from constructed wetlands for the beneficial use of effluent, or treated wastewater.

A new riverbank infiltration well system will cost $17.1 million, and a hydrogeologic study for the new wells will cost $150,000.

The city's water treatment plant currently treats 12 million gallons of water per day, and based on a medium population forecast, which means that the city grows at a gradually consistent rate, the consulting firm's draft report states that a 14 million-gallon-a-day (mgd) water treatment facility will be needed by 2028 to accommodate growth.

A 16-mgd water treatment facility will be needed by 2042, the report continues, and an 18-mgd facility will be needed in 2060.

The water treatment plant projects will likely come in four phases.

Phase 1 will include improving the facility's structure and electrical systems and comes with a price tag of $8.6 million. The draft report states that Phase 1 should be addressed in fiscal year 2009-10 that begins in July.

Phase 2A will include a new raw water intake system and a new 35-million-gallon pre-sedimentation basin -- which is, in essence, a small reservoir where sedimentation in the water is allowed to settle, providing for cleaner water taken into the treatment system. Water pumping improvements and a continuation of electrical system upgrades will also be included in Phase 2A. This phase will likely cost $12.9 million, and the draft report suggests that it should be finished between 2010 and 2012.

Phase 2B will likely cost $10.7 million and includes additional pilot testing for treatment systems and changes in the treatment system to address disinfection by-products in the distribution system. Phase 2B should be completed by 2015, the draft report states.

Phase 3, which should be complete by 2028 as the draft report states, will create a system that will hold a larger capacity of water to meet customer demands, and will likely cost $3.7 million.

The city's wastewater collection system treats 14.2 million gallons a day.

"The wastewater demand projections indicates that a plant expansion to 17.6 mgd will be required by the year 2040," the draft report states.

A plant expansion to 21 mgd is expected by 2060.

The report states that the city will not need major capital improvement projects in the next 10 years for the water reclamation facility; however, "the city may want to commission a biological process model in the next five to 10 years to examine what if scenarios for changes in wastewater influent characteristics and the corresponding impact on effluent quality."

Total improvements recommended for the wastewater collection system over the next 30 years are $12.6 million, but only $2.1 million of that is expected to be completed next fiscal year, the draft report states, which will come from $1.5 million in a vacuum sewer system for the recently annexed area off of Buck Swamp and Salem Church roads and $621,125 in other sewer system line improvements.

Total improvements at the water reclamation facility are $26.5 million, $685,325 of which the report states to spend in 2009-10 for maintenance and equipment upgrades.

Goldsboro's water distribution system operates 257 miles of 2-inch to 24-inch water distribution pipes and four, 1 million gallon elevated water storage tanks. Water is supplied to customers inside of city limits and to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

A hydraulic model was used to analyze the existing system, and model scenarios included the 2007 average and maximum day demands, the Phase 11 and 12 with fire flow, future demands along U.S. 70 Bypass, future demands for the Rosewood area and 2020 and 2030 maximum day demands.

The model results found that the distributing system pressure are adequate for all of the above scenarios included in the model, but that reinforcement to the distribution system will be required to meet the city's 2030 growth needs if they continue to contract sales to Wayne Water Districts.

The recommended water distribution system projects in the next 30 years total $3.5 million, the draft report states, and $1.07 million of which should be spent in 2009-10 for water line replacements to Phase 11 and 12 annexation areas and other line improvements as well as elevated water tank painting.

Compost facility upgrades and information technology improvements will cost another $1.8 million and $1.5 million over 30 years, the draft report states, with $546,625 recommended to be spent on the compost facility in 2009-10 and $336,972 to be spent next fiscal year on software.