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New Water Treatment Plant

October 24, 2022

New Water Treatment Plant

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Vision Becomes Reality

Iowa Lakes Regional Water's Osgood Water Treatment Plant

Project Owner:
Iowa Lakes Regional Water

Key Experience:

  • RD Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program Funding
  • Piloted technology to prove concept

Key Features:

  • Direct treatment reverse osmosis water treatment plant
  • 750,000 gpd capacity, expandable to 2.25 MGD
  • Utilizes shallow alluvial wells located approximately 2.5 miles away from the plant
  • Membraned system provides a modular style construction that allows for easy expansion

Iowa Lakes Regional Water (ILRW) provides water service to small communities and nearly 5,000 rural residents in northwest Iowa. The ILRW system encompasses over 200 square miles of service area in all or parts of Dickinson, Emmet, Clay, Palo Alto, Buena Vista, Sac and Cherokee Counties in Iowa and Jackson County in Minnesota. Water demands within the ILRW system are diverse, from high residential and tourism demands in the Lake Okoboji and Big Spirit Lake areas in the northern part of the system, to rural residential and large agricultural demands in the remainder of the system.

The Lakes area of the ILRW system has experienced significant growth as it has become a popular tourism location for residents of the upper Midwest. As ILRW developed the Lakes Area, they initially purchased water from a municipal system that treated surface water from Lake Okoboji. This source was an economical option to get the new distribution system started, but recent changes in surface water treatment has led to rising treatment costs and challenges with increasing disinfection byproduct concentrations. ILRW had the goal to provide this area and other rural customers with a higher quality and more economical water source than what they received from their bulk sources. A new treatment plant, the "Osgood" water treatment plant, fulfilled that goal.

The development of the Osgood water source has been a goal of ILRW for decades. As ILRW developed the eastern side of its system, ILRW and DGR Engineering (DGR) worked together to design and install transmission capacity capable of incorporating the Osgood water source, knowing that the new WTP would be needed in the future. The three goals of the project were as follows: to gain independence from purchased water sources, to provide high quality water to existing customers, and to accommodate system growth.

The plant is located along the Des Moines River between Graettinger and Emmetsburg, Iowa. The well field is in a shallow alluvial aquifer approximately 40 feet deep located 2.5 miles east of the water treatment plant and on the eastern side of the Des Moines River. The water treatment plant is located on the western side of the river at a much higher elevation and out of the flood plain of the river. Osgood has a capacity of 750,000 gallons per day and is easily expandable to 2.25 MGD.

The project was developed using the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s (RD) Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which has been the primary funding source for many ILRW projects. ILRW was able to obtain a loan and grant package from RD that enabled the project to be affordable to existing ILRW customers without having to raise rates.

All of ILRW's existing sources provided softened water, so it was prudent that any process considered incorporate softening. Hardness removal can be achieved through precipitation within conventional processes (lime softening), ion exchange, or non-conventional processes such as electrodialysis and membranes.

During the preliminary engineering report phase, ILRW and DGR evaluated three alternatives to achieve the treated water quality goals:
• Lime softening
• Nanofiltration/reverse osmosis (RO) with pretreatment
• Nanofiltration/reverse osmosis direct treatment

Many alternatives were considered but a direct treatment reverse osmosis water treatment plant was selected due to the lowest initial capital investment and ease of operation. The membraned system also provides a modular style construction that allows for easy expansion as system demands increase.

Reverse osmosis treatment without pretreatment for iron and manganese removal may not always be successful, so the technology was piloted to prove the concept would work. The pilot demonstrated that the water source was a great fit for direct treatment by reverse osmosis. In addition to iron, manganese, and hardness removal, softening membranes have an added benefit of removing other contaminants, such as nitrate, which is always a concern with shallow alluvial aquifers in agricultural settings. Nitrate levels are currently below the EPA's MCL, but test drilling showed elevated levels near the well field.

Not all membrane equipment suppliers are advocates of direct treatment, and so to ensure a successful project, ILRW decided to procure the membrane equipment prior to final design. The equipment procurement process allowed ILRW to make a selection of the equipment manufacturer based on qualifications, construction cost and operating costs, and allowed the equipment manufacturer to join the design team for final design.

The project was bid at the beginning of the pandemic (April 23, 2020) with very competitive bids. Six bids were received on the project with all bids being within 5.5-percent of the low bidder. The project was awarded to John T. Jones Construction Company on June 26, 2020, and substantial completion on the project was granted on January 25, 2022.

While direct treatment with softening membranes is not uncommon in and of itself, this project was unique in that it utilized shallow alluvial wells located approximately 2.5 miles away from the treatment plant. Due to the long raw water pipeline, ILRW and DGR determined that best practices would be to include a means to pig (clean the inner walls of pipes) the raw water pipeline in the final layout.

Based on the pilot water quality results and operating pressures, a hybrid skid was designed which utilized two different styles of membranes in each stage to target different contaminants. The RO skid was also designed for two half-sized trains on one frame to minimize the footprint and reduce overall capital costs. The half-sized trains allowed the plant to operate for a longer duration during low demand and minimize the amount of water wasted during the raw water pipeline flush period between startups/shutdowns. Thirdly, two treatment trains on one skid allowed for redundancy of the treatment equipment.

Treated water quality from the new Osgood WTP is summarized in the following table:

As indicated in the table above, the Osgood WTP produces high quality water for the customers of ILRW, a quality unmatched by most water systems. The water quality produced by Osgood is equivalent to the water quality produced by ILRW’s other water treatment plant, providing customers with consistent water quality regardless of water source. The consistent water quality has significantly reduced taste and odor complaints because the use of other bulk water sources has been significantly reduced. Osgood has reduced ILRW’s dependency on outside water sources, reduced operational costs, and set ILRW up to provide water for future demand growth.

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Site Development, Utility Improvements

July 25, 2022

Site Development, Utility Improvements

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public support for
public safety in alton

Project Owner:
City of Alton, IA

Key Experience:

  • Long term coordination with the City of Alton to plan for the future needs of the area
  • Successful coordination with local contractors
  • Local design partnerships with CMBA and EDA for the building addition project

Key Features:

  • Long-term City planning outlook- 2015 street project, 2022 Fire Station Addition project
  • Community support, $2M bonding bill supported by 97% of voters
  • Local contractors bids add to the community feel

DGR Engineering (DGR) continues to support the City of Alton, IA in planning and design for their long-term infrastructure needs, including a new fire station. As part of that process, a multi-phase plan for infrastructure projects was developed, splitting the project work into two phases to meet budgetary and approval constraints. Phase 1 (2015) involved a street reconstruction project, including updated sanitary sewer and water infrastructure with new road surfacing (PCC). Phase 2 (2021-22) included new (PCC) driveway and sidewalk, grading and building utilities adjacent to the new building addition.

Driveways, sidewalks and utilities for the 11th Street project (2015) were planned while keeping in mind the challenging ADA site for the future fire department expansion project (2021).

To add to the public support sentiment that surrounded this project, both publicly bid projects featured area contractors. The 2015 street project was completed by Jellema Construction of Alton, and the building general contractor was Poppma-Sikma of Sheldon. The design group included DGR as the civil engineering consultant for both projects, while the building addition (2021-22) was designed by CMBA Architects and Engineering Design Associates (EDA) as design partners.
Based on the design, bidding and construction time frames, the building addition project experienced the early effects of recent economic inflation. The City and design team selected project materials and changes as needed to meet the project budget. The project overwhelmingly passed in the bonding vote, including an additional parking paving bid alternate that was not included in the final project.

Challenges
As with most projects, challenges presented themselves throughout the course of the two projects. The primary concern from a site perspective was constructing a single floor elevation building addition adjacent to a roadway with 4' of fall, while maintaining fire truck passable driveway slopes and ADA required sidewalk grades.

The City provided early indication of their future building plans, allowing DGR engineers to design street grades that would meet the municipal street needs and allow for an ADA accessible route to the new community asset.
In the end, successful communication, planning and flexibility culminated in two successful projects for the community of Alton, resulting in a singular infrastructure upgrade.

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DGR designed a new lift station, new sanitary sewer, water mains and the associated service lines as well as a storm sewer system to collect stormwater. The stormwater was routed to the south end of Rushmore Drive to the sedimentation basin designed as part of the project. The sedimentation basin has a system in place to help collect trash washed from the streets and to contain sediment and oils from the roadway. This allows the City to collect that material and dispose of it, rather than have it carried into Splitrock Creek.

DGR teamed with Confluence to facilitate streetscaping and the sedimentation basin landscaping.

The sedimentation basin was a unique feature to this project. It was designed to slow the discharge of stormwater to Splitrock Creek in smaller rain events, but it also has the ability to be overtopped at the bottom in larger rain events without causing damage to the system.

As the City of Brandon grows, the basin will help to meet upcoming MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) EPA requirements that will be placed on the City.DGR assisted the the City in acquiring the land needed to construct the sedimentation basin and relocate the City’s lift station that serves the area. The decision was made to relocate and construct a new sanitary sewer lift station on the same parcel that would contain the sedimentation basin. The new lift station replaced some aging pumps and equipment, and employees will no longer need to climb down into a confined space. In addition, an on-site back up generator was added to provide instant backup in the event of a power outage.

During construction, DGR provided on-site construction observation to ensure the work complied with the design requirements and to work with residents, answer their questions and address their concerns. Temporary mailboxes were added near the post office for the project and when the project was complete, Cluster Box Units (CBU’s) were installed, eliminating mailboxes at each residence.

Phase II is planned to be constructed in 2023 and Phase III construction is planned for 2025.

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Neighborhood Reconstruction

July 25, 2022

Neighborhood Reconstruction

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Making Neighborhoods Better.

Project Owner:
City of Brandon, SD

Key Experience:

  • Project Phasing
  • Community Communication
  • Open House Informational Meetings
  • Easements

Key Features:

  • Water and Sewer Line Replacement
  • New Storm Sewer
  • New Curb and Gutter
  • New Asphalt Pavement
  • Sidewalk and ADA Improvements

In 2018, the City of Brandon selected DGR Engineering (DGR) to assist the community with the reconstruction of approximately 30 city blocks of the Rushmore Area in the southeast part of the city. The streets had outlived their useful life and the roadway was starting to degrade quickly in certain areas. Part of the reason for the rapid degradation of the street surface was the lack of storm sewer in the neighborhood. In addition, the water and sewer lines were in need of replacement due to their age and condition. Additional storm sewer, new curb, gutter and asphalt pavement, as well as a new 4 ft. wide sidewalk and ADA improvements, were also included.

The first steps in the process were to survey the entire project area, coordinate with staff to define the scope, and develop cost estimates for the work that needed to be done. Potential project phases were developed for the project to meet the financial needs of the City. Phasing of the project that would best fit the City's budget was determined, and then DGR began to design the first phase.

Communication was critical to keep residents informed. Letters were mailed out to residents prior to a survey taking place. A public open house was held to give residents details of the project and inform them of easements that would be needed. Easement documents were prepared and sent to property owners. DGR conducted many personal meetings with residents to discuss and obtain easements to facilitate the project.

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DGR designed a new lift station, new sanitary sewer, water mains and the associated service lines as well as a storm sewer system to collect stormwater. The stormwater was routed to the south end of Rushmore Drive to the sedimentation basin designed as part of the project. The sedimentation basin has a system in place to help collect trash washed from the streets and to contain sediment and oils from the roadway. This allows the City to collect that material and dispose of it, rather than have it carried into Splitrock Creek.

DGR teamed with Confluence to facilitate streetscaping and the sedimentation basin landscaping.

The sedimentation basin was a unique feature to this project. It was designed to slow the discharge of stormwater to Splitrock Creek in smaller rain events, but it also has the ability to be overtopped at the bottom in larger rain events without causing damage to the system. As the City of Brandon grows, the basin will help to meet upcoming MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) EPA requirements that will be placed on the City.

DGR assisted the the City in acquiring the land needed to construct the sedimentation basin and relocate the City’s lift station that serves the area. The decision was made to relocate and construct a new sanitary sewer lift station on the same parcel that would contain the sedimentation basin. The new lift station replaced some aging pumps and equipment, and employees will no longer need to climb down into a confined space. In addition, an on-site back up generator was added to provide instant backup in the event of a power outage.

During construction, DGR provided on-site construction observation to ensure the work complied with the design requirements and to work with residents, answer their questions and address their concerns. Temporary mailboxes were added near the post office for the project and when the project was complete, Cluster Box Units (CBU’s) were installed, eliminating mailboxes at each residence.

Phase II is planned to be constructed in 2023 and Phase III construction is planned for 2025.

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Street & Utility Improvements

July 28, 2021

Street & Utility Improvements

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Sioux City Project updates
Morningside Avenue

Project Owner:
City of Sioux City, IA

Key Experience:

  • Planning and coordination with local businesses to maintain access during construction
  • Improving drainage along the corridor by adding storm sewer
  • Major intersection reconstruction completed half at a time

Key Features:

  • New utilities (sanitary sewer and water main) including adding storm sewer where none previously existed along with decorative street lighting and colored concrete sidewalks
  • Several stages of construction allowing business access at all times during construction
  • Involved a major intersection of two arterial streets with Morningside Avenue and S. Lakeport Street

Morningside Avenue is a main arterial street though the Morningside neighborhood of Sioux City, IA. The original infrastructure dated back to the early 1900’s, with streetcar tracks actually buried under the paving. This project also included the intersection of S. Lakeport Street, a north-south arterial street that extends to Gordon Drive.

Morningside Avenue was reconstructed from just east of S. Nicollet Street to east of S. Lakeport Street totaling approximately 1,300 linear feet. The project included new sanitary sewer, water main (replacing two existing mains), storm sewer, fiber conduits, decorative street lighting, and 9-inch concrete paving with colored concrete sidewalks.

To provide customer and truck delivery access to adjacent businesses, the project was completed in seven stages (including removing/replacing temporary crossovers on S. Lakeport Street through a raised median).

Stage 1a was installing new storm sewer along a portion of S. Clinton from Morningside Avenue to south of intersection of Garretson Avenue and S. Clinton. This provided a storm sewer outlet for Morningside Avenue where none previously existed.

Stage 1b was the reconstruction of Morningside Avenue from just east of S. Nicollet Street east to S. Henry Street.

Stage 2 was extending the reconstruction of Morningside Avenue from S. Henry Street to just short of the S. Lakeport Street intersection.

The final four stages included reconstruction of the intersection of Morningside Avenue and S. Lakeport Street in order to replace utilities and install a new traffic signal. DGR Engineering (DGR) coordinated with the City and contractor to maintain one lane of northbound and southbound traffic on S. Lakeport Street at all times throughout the entire project.

Stage 1a and 1b were completed in 2018. Stages 2, 3a, 3b and 4a and 4b were completed in 2019.

DGR services included gathering survey and utility data needed to prepare detailed plans and specifications as well as construction administration and observation using Federal Aid Funding for the reconstruction of Morningside Avenue.

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Site Development

July 27, 2021

Site Development

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Site Development is Key
for New Rock Rapids Hospital Project

Project Owner:
Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital

Key Experience:

  • Traffic flow considerations
  • Utility line coordination, planning and construction
  • Worked with utilities on booster station design and water main piping

Key Features:

  • Multiple use parking/entrance areas
  • Site design allows for maximum traffic exposure along highway
  • Site set back into hill, allowing suitable soils for building slab and parking lots

Early in 2016, Avera Health System, a regional health system based in Sioux Falls, SD, reached an agreement to lease operations of the hospital in Rock Rapids, IA and clinics in Rock Rapids and George, IA with Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital (MPCH) beginning in May of 2019 and lasting for 25 years. As part of the lease, MPCH constructed a new hospital and clinic campus in Rock Rapids.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in August 2017 at the location of the new hospital and clinic in Rock Rapids. Construction began immediately and concluded in February, 2019.

DGR Engineering (DGR) contracted directly with MPCH and worked closely with the Owner’s Architect, BWBR of St. Paul, MN during the planning and design phase. Planning started with site plan design for the new facility to offer maximum exposure to traffic on Highway 75. The hospital building is set back into a hill so that the site grading produced ample suitable soils to construct the building slab and parking lots.

The front parking lot is reserved for patients and guests and employee parking is located behind the building. Parking lot grades are pedestrian-friendly while maintaining good surface drainage. Traffic flow of patient, delivery and emergency vehicles was a point of emphasis during the design process. The employee parking lot accommodates delivery truck turning maneuvers and direct routes to the emergency entrance. It was also designed to be easily navigated for emergency situations.

The new hospital required construction of utilities service lines. A water main loop surrounds the building to provide fire protection and water service from several directions. DGR assisted Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities with design of a booster station and water main piping to provide required fire flows and improve water system pressure and flows in the southwest corner of Rock Rapids.

Journey Construction Professionals of Sioux Falls was the construction manager for the project and was responsible for coordinating the various construction tasks for the project. The approximately $28.9 million Avera Merrill Pioneer Health Campus in Rock Rapids opened May 1, 2019.

 

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