Construction moves ahead on schedule at site with electrical, forthcoming HVAC work

Alliance Local Manager Lucas Drullinger has a lengthy checklist for the Ralls County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) #1 drinking water plant, and the time to begin the process is about two months away.

Drullinger said officials intend to begin the testing processes in mid-April, including equipment functions, making sure containment areas are watertight and adjusting chemical feeds. He emphasized that this process does not mark when the plant will be operational, but begins a series of steps to make sure that everything is working correctly in the process of purifying drinking water so the system can start operations in late-April or June.

Inside, walls are up and paint is applied. During a chilly Tuesday, crew members were busy performing tasks like installing wiring throughout the facility. Drullinger said that a temporary heating system will soon be replaced by the permanent heating and cooling system, with crews coming to the site in the next couple weeks and a target date by the end of February.

In December, Ralls County PWSD #1 Board of Directors approved payments for the second and third phases of the water main construction for the plant, and tests were being performed to assure proper pressure for the system.

During the January meeting, a fiber-optic connection from Bluebird Network was approved for $15,150. A 27,110.65 change order was also approved to remove unneeded insulation from the clarifier unit, install drop ceiling tiles in the electrical and mechanical rooms, perform electrical work for a future sump pump on U.S. 36, and install a concrete entrance on U.S. 61. District Engineer Mark Bross said that the changes fell within the expected range of one-and-a-half percent of the project cost for the $9,860,000 facility.

Drullinger said he is ready for equipment testing after several years of planning and work by everyone involved.

“If I had one word to describe how I'm feeling, it's excited...” he said. “It's exciting to be a part of, for me.”