Eastern Iowa City

Project Overview

Alliance was selected to provide contract operations and management of the water and wastewater systems to this eastern Iowa city in a competitive procurement process in 2001. Alliance was selected over the incumbent firm and was able to retain two existing employees plus hire three new ones to start operations. At that time, the water system included four wells, with chlorine and fluoride added at each. In 2006, a new treatment plant using an ion-exchange softening process was completed and began operations.

The City’s wastewater system included an SBR system that was operating beyond capacity. The City planned to expand the plant and convert it to a conventional activated sludge process.

Challenges
Achievements
System Description
Services Performed
Challenges
  • Problems with the SBR system were causing the City to rely on the use of expensive polymers to keep within DNR limits; there was an operational and financial need to reduce, if not eliminate, the need for polymer feed to the SBR system
  • The City was also in need of a contract operations firm with experience keeping operations running smoothly during a plant rehabilitation and expansion program, and who could effectively work with engineers through the design and construction phases of the development project to ensure reliable and operable facilities
  • Preventive maintenance measures were limited to problem areas
Achievements
  • Improvements at the wastewater treatment facilities involved the majority of the treatment process and piping in some manner; the Alliance team worked with the City, the engineer and the construction crews to keep the plant in service, yet provide the flexibility necessary to complete the construction
  • The Alliance team saved money for the City by assisting with the closing and demolition of an old abandoned well, along with cleaning the SBR, chlorine contact and sulfur dioxide tanks
  • Alliance has developed and implemented an electronic based preventive maintenance program for both the water and wastewater systems
  • In the spring of 2002, the City experienced severe flooding that threatened to close the WWTP; the staff was able to prevent major damage by use of pumping and sandbags; as noted by the DNR when they visited to assess the damage, the plant remained in compliance throughout the flooding; flooding also caused damage to the collection system; a new camera system was purchased, allowing the televising of City sewer lines to assess damage and determine repair needs
  • Engineers and operations experts from Alliance’s home office were in attendance to troubleshoot the switch from SBR wastewater treatment to a 24-hour conventional activated sludge process; having those experts on hand (at no extra cost to the City) helped ensure a smooth transition
  • Even when water plant construction demanded much attention, Alliance crews worked diligently to locate outdated private wastewater pipelines so they could be replaced with a road resurfacing project
  • Unknown valves and lines throughout the City’s infrastructure needed to be tracked and recorded; Alliance saved money by retrofitting an old ambulance with cameras and equipment to televise the sewers; the City also traded a trailer-mounted sewer jet and purchased a Jet/Vac truck; together, these changes saved the City more than $25,000 in cleaning and televising costs
  • Alliance saved $20,770 over the previous sludge hauler by negotiating with a new vendor; unnecessary travel and gas expenses were also avoided by finding new land for sludge application closer to the treatment plant
System Description
  • Water
    • 1.44-MGD ion exchange water treatment plant
    • 2 towers and reservoir (2-MGD storage capacity)
    • Distribution system
  • Wastewater¬†¬†
    • 2.5-MGD extended aeration activated sludge system
    • 5 lift stations
    • Collection system
    • Stormwater lagoon
Services Performed
  • Water Treatment
  • Meter Repair and Installation
  • Water Distribution System
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Class A Biosolids Management
  • Collection System
  • Water and Sewer Locates