In 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a consent decree with the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., when combined sewer overflows in the city discharged raw sewage directly into the area’s rivers and streams. To comply with Clean Water Act regulations, the city agreed to pay a penalty and to make improvements to its sewer system to resolve these overflows.
The project commenced in October 2011 and aimed to reduce the city’s wet-weather overflow events while increasing existing pump station capacity from 360 to 530 million gal per day. Because of the consent decree, the upgrades had to allow for the accommodation of all future flows.
The overall goals of the project included providing significant improvements to the management of wet-weather flows, flood protection and wet-weather equalization, as well as the ability to return flow to the plant for treatment. The city also wanted to repair and replace outdated areas of the pump station.
The demolition and construction processes were carefully orchestrated to allow the existing pumps, wet well and electrical infrastructure to remain operational and ready to accommodate flows arriving to the facility. Construction of the new screen facility—which includes space for up to five mechanically cleaned screens—was completed in two phases to allow flows to be maintained.
Crews from different construction trades worked simultaneously in the tight space to build new storage and electrical buildings and complete modifications to the existing concrete discharge structure. A new electrical substation, dewatering facilities and pond improvements also were completed.
The project is set for completion in December 2013.
“The improvements to our wet-weather pump station have been a multi-year project involving our design firms and a solid team of construction contractors from our local community,” said Andrew Schipper, senior program manager for Fort Wayne Water Eng. “The teamwork between our engineers and contractors was evident from the beginning and throughout the project. Regularly scheduled progress meetings, special coordination and shutdown meetings—and the diligence of the entire delivery team—were important to the success of this project. The decision to include a schedule incentive bonus for contractor completion per schedule underscored City Utilities’ intent to enforce schedule throughout the project. Cooperation among all parties was effective and resulted in a project projected to be complete ahead of schedule.”