The city of Spokanes newly revised six-year water and sewer plans outline nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worth of projects, a number of them new on the list in the 2008 to 2013 version of the plan.
Jim MacInnis, a senior engineer with the city, says the water and sewer departments can complete most of the listed projects with no significant debt. The six-year plans are updated annually, he says.
Many cities our size end up having to borrow money for these types of things, MacInnis says. Weve been fiscally responsible enough to pay as we go for these necessary improvements. This is money being collected in the community and being spent in the community.
The six-year water plan outlines $56 million in projects either planned or under way, including several new projects added to the revised plan. Two large new projects are a new water line that would serve Fairchild Air Force Base and the West Plains and an upgrade of the Central Avenue well station on Spokanes North Side.
The planned $14 million Fairchild Air Force Base water transmission extension is expected to be completed in three phases over the next four years, MacInnis says. He says Fairchild currently has its own pipeline to a well on the west bank of the Spokane River, but also receives some of its water from the city.
MacInnis says the new line is designed to meet the needs of the area for the next 100 years, and that ultimately the air base might decide to get all of its water from the city if replacing its own aging pipeline proves too costly.
The 36-inch water line will be extended from the intersection of Thomas Mallen Road and Geiger Boulevard to Medical Lake Road, then head west along that road to Craig Road and, from there, north to McFarlane Road. MacInnis says the line will skirt the outside of a planned runway extension at Spokane International Airport. Fairchild and Washington state are helping to fund the project.
Later on, the water department plans to upgrade its Central Avenue well station, beginning in 2013 at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. The well station, located at the intersection of Central Avenue and Normandie Street, is aging, MacInnis says. By overhauling and modernizing the station, including installing new pumps and motors to provide more pumping capacity, the department hopes to save 30 percent to 40 percent of the energy cost needed to run it, he says.
MacInnis says that over the next five to 10 years the city also plans to upgrade its other six well stations, which house a total of about 30 pumps.
The city expects to spend about $5.8 million for what it calls planning and support projects, including street project-related upgrades. The waste-water management department coordinates with other city infrastructure work, including improvements being made under a 10-year street bond. When sewer or storm drain facilities are near the street bond projects, the department evaluates the facilities for upgrade or replacement, such as replacement of old catch basins, shallow or broken pipe, and leaking manholes.
The citys latest six-year sewer program outlines $181 million in projects, including a number of newly added projects and others that lay the groundwork for future service expansions and upgrades.
Groundwork for a future sewer project called the lower terrace sewer project, located along the Aubrey L. White Parkway south of Rifle Club Road, which could cost $11.3 million overall, will be laid in 2008 at a cost of $2.5 million.
The city plans to add 1.6 miles of pressurized sewer line to the area in conjunction with another project that already will be under way, MacInnis says. It also intends to buy property in that area this year for two eventual pump stations, he says.
The lower terrace project will provide sewer service to the Nine Mile area, according to the plan. The overall project includes a new pump station, gravity sewer line, and pressurized pipeline, and is expected to eliminate the need for four lift stations now in the area. MacInnis says completion of the project will be driven by demand in a 900-acre area between Nine Mile Road and the Spokane River, but the city already has been studying it.
In another project to upgrade part of the citys combined sewer and storm-water overflow system, expected to cost about $1.3 million, the city will update 10 sewer-diversion boxes located in overflow drains that carry both sewage and storm-water pipes about a mile downstream from the Monroe Street Dam.
The boxes, called weirs, divert sewage from old pipes that dumped it directly into the river before the city began treating sewage in about 1950. During especially heavy rainstorms, the combined storm water and sewage overflows to the river.
The project, which MacInnis says involves installation of new weirs with electronic sensors to alert the department when there is overflow into the river, is expected to be completed in 2010, according to the plan.
MacInnis says over the next 10 to 15 years, the city also will be changing the overflow system to divert the water to tanks and further reduce overflow from those combined pipes. He says that the city already reduced overflow 90 percent, from 880 million gallons a year in 1980 to 80 million gallons a year by 2000, and that current efforts are aimed at reducing the remaining 10 percent.
Another project scheduled for this year will provide a pipeline to transport treated waste water from the citys sewage treatment facility at Riverside State Park to Fairmount Memorial Park and to Joe Albi Stadium for irrigation. That project is expected to cost $950,000, and in the future storage and additional pumping capacity will be added to deliver the reclaimed water through the pipeline, according to the plan.
MacInnis says that project will serve in part to demonstrate to possible future customers how the water-reclamation system works as the city studies and possibly implements up to $1.75 million worth of water-reclamation projects.
The city will pay $5 million from 2008 through 2013 for its share of a regional effort to study and carry out ways to reduce phosphorus in the river from residences, street runoff, and agriculture, MacInnis says.
The project is a joint effort with other governmental units, such as Liberty Lake, Spokane County, and the Washington state Department of Ecology. The total contribution from the city for that effort is estimated at $7 million, going beyond the six-year plan into 2015, MacInnis says.
The city plans to spend a total of $39.5 million on capital projects at its Riverside Park sewage treatment facility, including several projects that are new to the list. The addition of auxiliary heating for the egg-shaped digester facility that it currently is constructing is expected to cost $1.2 million and to be done this year.
Also, the city plans to replace its four current biosolids storage bins this year with two new hoppers, which it expects to increase storage capacity, at an anticipated cost of $2.5 million.
Contact Jeanne Gustafson at (509) 344-1264 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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