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Water and Wastewater System Improvements

Newton County Regional Water and Sewer District (NCRWSD), Newton County, Indiana

Due to development at the Fair Oaks Farms Dairy and a proposed cheese and whey plant, NCRWSD officials needed to provide drinking water and wastewater services on a much larger, more aggressive scale than previously capable. Wessler Engineering staff assisted the NCRWSD team with preliminary concepts through the construction of the $21 million project while also coordinating the work with representatives from Fair Oaks Farms Dairy and the grant administrator.

In order to obtain the best bids possible, the project was separated into three contracts: water distribution and sewage conveyance, drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities and an elevated storage tank.

Division 1 of Contract A included approximately 14,000 feet of water main, including raw water in the new well fields and distribution piping from the treatment facility to the cheese and whey plant site and the Fair Oaks Farms Tourism Campus. Division 2 included almost eight miles of force main, one new lift station and modifications to three existing lift stations necessary to convey sewage to the new wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) strategically located to serve additional customers in the future.

Division 1 of Contract B included a new 1.1 million-gallons-per-day (MGD) sulfide removal water treatment plant (WTP). After reviewing water quality data from test wells, Wessler staff researched several options for treatment and visited several facilities in Indiana and Illinois that were treating water high in sulfur. A process that includes pH adjustment with hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide with air strippers was determined to be the most cost-effective approach. A new hotel being constructed on the Fair Oaks Farms Tourism Campus required the WTP be built on a very aggressive time schedule. The Wessler team worked with NCRWSD and the contractor to make sure the facility was able to produce water before the hotel opened.

Division 2 of Contract B included a new 0.850 MGD WWTP with integrated fixed-film activated sludge process able to handle the heavy loadings produced at a cheese and whey plant. Due to the new development not being constructed as the new plant is coming on line, Wessler staff is working with NCRWSD staff to develop an operational plan to run the facility in a greatly underloaded condition.

Contract C included a new 500,000 gallon spheroid elevated storage tank with an alternate bid for a 750,000 gallon tank which was ultimately built. The Wessler team worked with NCRWSD and Fair Oaks Farms representatives to develop a unique cow pattern coating, which was ultimately a runner-up for Tank of the Year by Tnemec, the paint supplier.

One of the hurdles Wessler staff assisted the NCRWSD team with was project funding. Working hand-in-hand with the grant administrator, Wessler staff helped NCRWSD representatives secure funding for the project from four different sources, including two Indiana State Revolving Fund loans and grants from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Economic Development Agency.

Dylan L. Lambermont, P.E., LEED AP


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