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That's a lot of concrete

Posted by haroldkitching on February 20, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Any way you look at it, it took a lot of concrete, rebar, piping and wiring to double the capacity of Casa Grande’s wastewater treatment plant to 12 million gallons a day.

Speaking Tuesday night to the City Council during a brief update to mark the commissioning of the upgraded plant at 1194 W. Kortsen Road, Public Works Director Kevin Louis said construction began in April 2009 and was completed last June.

Louis said some of the statistics from construction are:

✦ 38 million pounds of concrete.

“So how do you wrap your arms around what that is?” Louis asked.

“If you were to pave five football fields one foot thick. that’s how much concrete was in this project.

“Another way to look at it would be two lanes of roadway five miles long, again one foot thick of pavement for those two lanes."

✦ More than 1,326,000 linear feet of rebar to help give the concrete its structure. “That’s over 251 miles,” Louis said.

✦ Sixty six thousand concrete blocks.

✦ Three and a half miles of piping.

✦ Twenty miles of wiring.

“It’s an amazing project,” Louis said.

The state Water Infrastructure Financing Authority also saw the project as amazing, Communications Director Susan Craig said, noting that WIFA, which finances water projects around the state, had loaned Casa Grande $62.5 million for the work.

Mayor Bob Jackson said that makes the upgrade the most expensive project the city has ever done.

Louis said the upgrade was originally scheduled to take 24 months but stretched into 38.

“We had a number of change orders throughout the project,” he said. “Any time you retrofit anything, hook up to something old, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

“This was a challenging project. It wasn’t like we could shut this down, build what we needed to and then turn it back on a different day. We had to continue to treat every gallon of water that we received from our collection system.”

It was pointed out by council members Mary Kortsen and Matt Herman that the upgrade not only helps the present population and future growth, but is also important to industries that might want to locate here, bringing more jobs. If a city cannot provide the wastewater structure a company needs, it will locate elsewhere.

In presenting the city with WIFA’s Clean Water Project of the Year award for 2012, Craig said the project also raised the standards of the plant outflow from B+ to A+.

In July of last year, the city listed these as the major components of the treatment plant expansion:

✦ Installed a modern control system for improved operation and efficiency.

✦ Increased the capacity and effectiveness of wastewater flowing into the plant, increasing overall efficiency of the processes.

✦ Upgraded and increased the capacity and efficiency of the pump station.

✦ Improved air quality by rehabilitating the existing odor control system at the headworks building and constructing a new odor control system at the solids-handling building.

✦ Replaced grit-removal systems with more effective units.

✦ Constructed a new aerobic/anoxic basin and rehabilitated and remodeled three existing basins.

✦ Increased capacity and efficiency of the scum-pumping station.

✦ Constructed a new liquid chlorine generation system for disinfection, eliminating the need to use or transport hazardous chlorine gas.

✦ Constructed new sludge dewatering and solids handling facilities to increase effectiveness of solids removal, increasing the amount of water reclaimed and reducing waste hauling.

✦ Improved aesthetics and safety by constructing a new perimeter wall and repairing the fencing.

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