North Liberty, IA

Water Treatment Plant Improvements

  • Client City of North Liberty
  • Type Water
  • Services Design and Construction
  • Construction Cost $20 Million
  • Project Manager Steve J. Troyer, P.E., BCEE
  • Project Engineer Taylor A. Hopper, P.E.

Challenge

North Liberty, a community in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor, has experienced rapid growth over the last 15 years. The first expansion of the city’s water plant occurred in 2001, a project that had a 10-year life expectancy. Six years later, when it became clear that population projections far outpaced that expansion, small upgrades were made to increase the size of pumps and enlarge the city’s existing wells. Aside from adding an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) well in 2009, the water treatment plant had experienced no other improvements until 2015.

In 2001, in addition to increased demand, the city’s goal was to improve finished water quality and provide softened water similar to their larger neighbors. As with any small and growing community, financing major capital improvements for future growth is difficult so cost control for the project was paramount. This meant taking maximum advantage of existing facilities.

 Iron removal pressure filter, doubling filtration cap

Iron removal pressure filter, doubling filtration cap

Solution

FOX water supply engineers worked closely with the city’s municipal consulting engineer to design an expansion to the plant.  An additional new well was designed in the Jordan Aquifer to assure a reliable, high-volume, water source. Iron filtration was provided and zeolite-softening equipment was added which assured that possible high levels of radionuclides in the Jordan water could be reduced and overall water quality improved. The water plant building was expanded and high service pumping and chemical feed systems were replaced and upgraded while maintaining the plant in full operation throughout the construction period.

 Ion exchange softener

Ion exchange softener

Outcome

The city received a reliable, high-volume water source to supplement existing wells. Radionuclides in the Jordan water were reduced and overall water quality was improved. The facility was completed at a reasonable cost to the community and the extra capacity and improved water quality were made available to serve the community’s growth for ten to fifteen years.

Ongoing Support and Expansion (2016)

FOX engineers completed a study in 2013 which showed that extraordinary growth has placed a prematurely large demand on the city’s treatment and conveyance systems. This volume of growth necessitated a different solution for the city’s treatment system so a pilot study for nanofiltration treatment was completed in 2015. Design is underway with completion anticipated in June 2016. Construction of this $20+ million project will follow with completion anticipated in 2017/18.

North Liberty R.O. Pilot

North Liberty R.O. Pilot

North Liberty R.O. Pilot

North Liberty R.O. Pilot