$13M job ahead of schedule

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr Dennis Bowman, the resident observer for J.R. Wauford & Co., the engineering firm that drafted expansion plans for Lewisburg's sewage treatment plant, displays where bio solids will be made into moveable "cake."

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Construction of Lewisburg's $13.14 million public works project is ahead of schedule, the city's Water and Wastewater Department superintendent reported to the utility board during its January meeting.

The work is to:

* Expand the sewage treatment plant's capacity to treat wastewater volumes that have, at times, exceeded its ability to discharge as much as what's coming in, resulting in an "overflow" of wastewater that's had "solids" removed by swirling the water in a centrifuge; and,

* Build a 10-million-gallon holding tank that will allow delayed treatment if flows exceed capacity. That usually happens when rain increases ground water that seeps into pipes, thereby diluting sewage, but increasing flows.

"The tank has all the pre-stressed wire on it," Superintendent Kenneth Carr reported last week. "They're spraying the final concrete" on the outside wall of the 10-million gallon tank.

"They think they will have it done by March 31," Carr said of the work being done by The Crom Corp., of Gainesville, Fla.

Crom submitted a bid of $1,858,000 to build the holding tank that's about 36 feet tall and 256 feet in diameter. The concrete surface is to be painted to prevent mildew.

Choate Construction Co., Atlanta, Ga., one of five Choate offices in the Southeastern United States, bid $11,279,950 for the plant expansion project.

Greg Davenport, the project engineer and senior vice president of J.R. Wauford & Co. which designed the treatment plant expansion, inspected the construction job early this month with Wauford, the company's president. J.R. Wauford & Co., Consulting Engineers Inc. specializes in environmental engineering and provides services related to all phases of water and wastewater projects to clients in Tennessee and Kentucky.

With completion of the tank by Crom, Carr told his board, "Choate may be able to use it."

That would be to divert sewage so the treatment plant construction crew can "change pumps at the head works," Carr said.

Construction crews "have worked on days that most employees wouldn't," Carr said, praising the contractors' employees.

"I think we're very blessed to have the contractors we have," he said on Thursday, Jan. 19.

The next day, Dennis Bowman, the resident observer for J.R. Wauford & Co., led a tour of the plant expansion and tank construction.

The final coatings of concrete on the tank are applied by spraying the concrete on after the wall is wetted by a man spraying water with a hose.

"We call it shotcrete because they shoot it," Bowman said.

Project Superintendent Ken Fogg was overseeing the work of several men on two scaffolds on metal wagons that are pulled around the tank so one may spray water and others spray shotcrete and smooth it with giant squeegees.

Approximately 150 cubic yards of shotcrete was being applied during a job that was taking more than a week. The process is called screeting.

"The weather has been terrific" for this kind of work, said Kent Sweeton, a chemist who leads the wastewater plant laboratory.

About 225 miles of pre-stressed steel wire has been placed around the tank

Some $2 million of the $13 million job is from so-called stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase employment during the recession.