Water Softening Project (WSP) Updates

Project Goals:  

The goal of the WSP 2020 is to reduce the water hardness of the District water to 7 gpg (115 mg/L) from the current average of 21 gpg (350 mg/L). The project will create a more equitable  water system for the entire District. The project is expected to be completed in early 2021, as the softening system becomes operational the District will send out notifications to customers on how to adjust in-home water softeners.

Many customers have asked if the softening system will improve the taste of the District water. During the Hardness Advisory Committees research a blind taste test was conducted. During this taste test 4 water samples were provided including a sample of the current District water, a sample of the pellet softened water, a carbonate treated water, and a sample of Denver Water. 38 volunteers participated and rated the water as follows:
Water Sample  Rating
 Denver Water 1.7
 Current District Water  2.4
Pellet Softened Water 1.9
 Carbonate Treated Water  2.4

The participants were asked to rate the water on a scale from 1 (really good) to 5 (really bad). The results showed that the pellet softened water had a improved taste compared to the current District water. Although these results imply that there will be a improved taste after the District implements the pellet softening system taste is subjective and may be influenced by personal preference. 

Below you will find periodical updates for the project as well as photos and videos of the construction process. Any questions or comments can be sent to WSP2020@sacwsd.org

Photos of the WSP2020

March 27, 2020- Construction for the water softening plant has not slowed down. Approximately 90% of the underground piping is complete.  The concrete slabs are approximately 75% complete.  Major process equipment (pellet reactors) began installation in early March and will continue through April and May.  The Process Building will begin to be constructed at the end of April.  The project remains on budget and on Schedule for completion first quarter of 2021. Below is a picture of the installation of the pellet reactors. 

Pellet Reactor Installation



March 2,2020- Two major parts of the WSP project are underway! The construction of the 24” pipeline that will bring water from the northern wells down to the Klein WTP for softening and the upgrade and rehabilitation of the wells has begun. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by June. The pipeline construction will be the most noticeable along Rosemary and Quebec street. Work at the well sites will not be that noticeable but is critical in providing the capacity for these wells to be treated through the GAC process and the Softening process before being delivered to the potable water distribution supply. 

February 14, 2020- In December of 2019 the District Board approved a Change Order to the project moving the substantial completion date from December 10, 2020 to February 24, 2021.  This change was necessary to accommodate two construction issues that had impacted the project in the first 8 months and also to add nineteen weather days to the schedule.  The addition of the weather days accommodates issues with the unusually cold/snowy (at least for the last several years)  weather experienced since the end of October 2019.  With this change the project is on schedule and under budget. 

Significant milestones include:

  • Chemical building The concrete block walls are being constructed and are approximately 60% complete.  Five of the chemical tanks have been installed. 
  • Stabilization basin.  This structure is ahead of schedule and only requires minor finish work to be complete. 
  • Underground duct banks and steel piping.  A majority of this work has been completed allowing for backfill/compaction and concrete floor slabs to be poured in the truck bay and pellet reactor area.
  • Process Building.  The footers are approximately 80% complete and concrete slabs for the filter area will be poured in February with the delivery of the filters scheduled for March.  Pellet reactors are scheduled for delivery in February.
  • Administration Area.  Deep piping and footers have been completed with floor slabs scheduled to be poured in March.

November 13, 2019- The project is 8 months along and the construction of the 3 major structures of the treatment plant has begun. The 3 structures are the stabilization basin, the chemical building, and the process/administration building. Below you will find details about the current progress on each of these buildings:
-The smallest of the 3 structures the stabilization basin has been constructed and only needs the concrete roof to be poured to be generally complete. - The chemical building, the second largest structure, has had all under slab piping completed. They are about 1/3 done with the concrete block walls for this building. Once the walls are complete the chemical storage tanks will be installed and that will be followed by plumbing and electrical components. - The process/administration building, the largest of the 3, is currently progressing underground piping for the structure. There are 3 different levels of piping that are stacked on top of each other. One level has to be completed before installing the next level. Under the footprint of this building there are several miles of water pipe and electrical conduits. Underground piping is scheduled to be finished up by the end of the year, then concrete floor slabs will be poured and equipment will begin to be installed in January. The metal building for this structure will begin to be erected in March of 2020.

July 12, 2019- The Water Softening Project 2020 (WSP2020) is well underway. A big milestone for the project has just been completed all gas chlorine has been removed from the site, which significantly reduces hazards to the surrounding community and staff. The District has been using liquid chlorine for a disinfectant since early June. The construction crew has begun laying the foundations for multiple buildings on the site. Below you will find a short video that displays the early progress of the project.



March 5, 2019-  On Monday March 4, 2019 South Adams County Water and Sanitation District celebrated the groundbreaking of the future pellet softening treatment plant. The future softening plant will be added to the Klein Treatment facility located at 7400 Quebec St. The pellet softening treatment process has been used throughout Europe for decades but is a new and innovative process in the United States. Pellet softening has the ability to reduce hardness by removing the calcium minerals from the hard water and producing a calcium carbonate pellet that has the potential for beneficial reuse. When the construction is complete the new softening plant will be the largest pellet softening plant in the country. The plant is expected to be operational in late 2020. 
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August 24, 2018- Below is an animated walk through of the future Pellet Softening Treatment Plant.  

August 9, 2018- The District made the decision to perform this project with an integrated delivery method called Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). This delivery method works by contracting with a construction management firm who will be part of the design team. They will provide input on constructability of the plant and value engineering ideas to reduce costs.The District just concluded interviews with three prospective construction management firms. All three firms were highly qualified and made very impressive presentations.The Board of Directors approved the District’s selection of Moltz Construction to serve as the construction manager for the Pellet Softening project.  

July 31, 2018- Currently the project is in the planning and design phase with 50% of the design complete. Below are a few pictures of the expected treatment plant. The District is in the process of selecting a Construction Management Firm to oversee the project. 
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