Regulations prompt water storage facility construction
Project: Conversion to closed reservoirs
Agency: Onondaga County, N.Y., Water Authority (OCWA)
Engineer: White Plains, N.Y.-based Malcolm Pirnie
Anticipated completion: Summer 2010
Estimated cost: $55 million (Bidding expected in early 2009)
OCWA is replacing its open reservoirs with closed reservoirs, which will meet EPA standards to protect against viruses and parasites that have periodically infiltrated systems in other parts of the country. A particular problem is cryptosporidium, a protozoan parasite that affected 400,000 people in Milwaukee several years ago.
New regulations require open reservoirs to convert to closed systems to keep out biological waste from birds and animals. At the same time, OCWA will use the $55 million project to redistribute water resources closer to the locations of greater usage.
According to the plan, a 50 million gallon open reservoir will be drained and replaced by a 20 million gallon closed reservoir on the same site. On the other side of the district, where population has grown, a 30 million gallon tank and a 20 million gallon tank will replace an open 30 million gallon reservoir. The better allocation of water storage will keep the water fresher, says Mike Hooker, OCWA’s executive director.
The project, which is designed and ready for bidding, will take an estimated 18 months, with completion anticipated for summer 2010. Using the state revolving fund for financing, the project will save $2 million over the life of the project.
Read the main story, “At the breaking point,” to learn more aboout the sorry state of the country’s water infrastructure and what it means if we don’t fix it.