Since its establishment in the late 1800s, Dodge City, Kan., has evolved significantly. In recent years, a population boom, thriving industrial base and the 2009 construction of a new casino have put a greater demand on the city’s wastewater system. The city’s solution: an expansion of the system to provide service for the growing population, and the inclusion of a beneficial reuse system.
The unique engineer-led integrated project promoted extensive communication between the city, designers and contractors. For the first few months of the design phase, the team met weekly to coordinate and collaborate on the project. Meetings became biweekly until 30% of the design was complete.
In January 2010, when this milestone was reached, construction began. Because design and construction were occurring simultaneously, the design team often was present at the job site and the team was able to use time more efficiently and complete the project ahead of schedule.
With construction beginning in the snow, it was only fitting for the facility to go online in 2011, during record-breaking Kansas heat. The project, which had a $16.9-million budget, was completed below budget for $16.4 million, and was finished two months ahead of schedule, in April 2011.
The wastewater capacity needs were exceeded, membrane technology was implemented and the city’s beneficial reuse goals were realized. During all but the coldest months of the year, the city can irrigate its publicly owned land with the effluent from the plant.
“It’s a showcase plant,” said Sarah Unruh, P.E., engineering project manager for Professional Eng. Consultants. “At a time when many cities are just beginning to consider beneficial reuse as a possible option, Dodge City is continuing to build on its 100% reuse policy that began in the 1980s. In hot, dry western Kansas summers, that makes a huge contribution to the city’s sustainability and resource conservation.”