Glades Road Water Treatment Plant Membrane Softening Process Addition, Boca Raton, FL
A new, more effective water treatment process; regulatory compliance; effective coordination of a complex project with multiple subcontractors and suppliers; non-disruptive operation of current facility; significant reduction in operating expenses; lower energy costs; project tasks performed in spite of constrained conditions; a safer environment for plant personnel and the surrounding community; increased customer satisfaction with water quality; professional recognition of the project’s success.
To improve water quality and comply with new regulations.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
This plant – Boca Raton’s primary water supply – uses raw water from the Biscayne Aquifer, which is high in organic content, color and hardness. Prior to this project, the plant used a conventional lime softening treatment process. This process only marginally met the new, more stringent requirements of the Disinfectant/Disinfection By-Product Rule (D/DBPR) under the Safe Drinking Water Act. In addition, there was considerable customer dissatisfaction with the color of the water. To ensure regulatory compliance and address customer complaints, the city elected to add a 40-mgd (million gallons per day) nanofiltration process in which membrane permeate could be blended with the existing lime-softened water supply. To implement this, the city awarded the plant construction contract to Poole & Kent. The contract included all construction, contract coordination, startup and performance testing.
The major project components included:
Since going into full-scale operation, the plant has been a dramatic success. The first large plant of its type to operate without chemical pre-treatment, it is saving the city nearly $1 million per year in operating costs. This does not include indirect cost savings associated with operation and maintenance of the chemical storage and feed systems, training, cleaning, etc. In addition, by eliminating chemical pre-treatment, the project also eliminated a substantial source of day-to-day safety risk to the operations staff and the surrounding community. Furthermore, the low-fouling membranes are currently operating at lowerthan- specified pressures, saving the city nearly $50,000 per year in power costs. Finally, all water quality goals are being met, and the city utility staff has received numerous compliments from customers regarding the noticeable improvement in the water’s aesthetic quality. The project won the 2006 Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE) Grand Award for Engineering Excellence in Water and Wastewater.
In completing this project, Poole & Kent successfully overcame several challenging situations:
- Since this project constituted a major modification to the existing plant, close coordination between the contractor and plant operations was required to incorporate the new facility into the existing plant, while minimizing disruptions and maintaining an uninterrupted water supply for Boca Raton's citizens.
- The existing plant site was very constrained, requiring an extremely compact process layout, as well as extraordinary care to protect existing facilities from damage during construction activities.
- To keep the project on schedule, construction administrators had to carefully coordinate multiple subcontractors and multiple suppliers.
- To take advantage of the new low-fouling membrane technology developed for this project, the city purchased the membrane elements directly from the supplier and provided them to the general contractor for installation. This necessitated detailed scheduling and contractual coordination of the membrane element manufacturer, the membrane system supplier, the instrument system supplier, and the general contractor.
When commissioned, the plant became the largest nanofiltration plant in the world.