Board considering proposal from engineering firm to help with water system conversion
The first step on the road to complying with the April 4 passage of Proposition 1 will likely cost the Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW) in the neighborhood of $250,000.
After voters decided to stop the use of chloramines — a mixture of chlorine and ammonia — in the city’s water disinfection process, the HBPW solicited a proposal from Black and Veatch (B&V) Engineers to begin the process of studies, reports, and designs required to make a conversion to another method.
Because B&V’s proposal only arrived shortly before the start BPW Board’s April 18 meeting, the board members decided to table the proposal until at least their May meeting.
According to Bob Stevenson, general manager of the HBPW, the B&V “proposal would get us the engineering services that we need to take us up to the point of what they will call preliminary design, which means at the end of that point in the overall project we would know what we’re going to build, we would have DNR (Department of Natural Resources) approval of what we were going to build, conceptually at least, and some engineer would be ready to start actual design work, laying out pipes, foundations and footings, all the stuff that we’ll need. This proposal gets us up to that point. It includes all the preliminary studies, reports, the approvals, the expediting of DNR involvement, everything we could think of that we’re going to need to make this go smoothly and timely.”
B&V’s work will duplicate some done previously, reports Stevenson.
“The Jacobs (Engineering) study focused exclusively on a granular activated carbon (GAC) solution and gave us an estimated price to do it and what it might look like,” he said. “The Black & Veatch study kind of picks up where Jacobs left off. It will duplicate some of Horner and Shifrin’s work that was done five years ago. I don’t know how we can avoid that at this point.”
B&V may offer options other than GAC.
“They’ve also offered to look at beyond activated carbon; A couple of other basic systems that may do the same job. Those will be offered up as price options,” said Stevenson. “I know that most of the discussion from the community has been focused simply on activated carbon. It would make a lot of sense to follow that path and not look at the others, but Black & Veatch was suggesting that maybe there might be something there of value if we looked at it at a pilot-scale (small) level.”
B&V is no stranger to the HBPW.
“They are already familiar with the specifics of our existing plant and distribution system. The work they have performed for us in the past, both at the Water Treatment Plant and the Waste Water Treatment Plant has been excellent and timely,” wrote Stevenson in a memo. “The DNR also knows and respects their work. In addition, they have actual design and construction experience of large scale GAC systems such as has been promoted for Hannibal.”
Reach reporter Danny Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org