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Thursday, March 22, 2018

The original City of Glendive water treatment plant building was built in 1916. The building currently handles the plant’s solid contact unit.

Options for water treatment plant considered


By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The next step in upgrading the City of Glendive’s aging infrastructure is renovating the city’s water treatment plant to meet the forecasted growth in population and demand over the next 20 years, but the fix won’t come cheap.

Depending on the option the city chooses, renovating the facility — parts of which are a century old — would cost somewhere between $8.8 million to $10.5 million.

Dowl HKM engineers Ray Armstrong and Stephan Bradley presented the engineering firm’s findings from their preliminary engineering review of the city’s water plant to the Finance, Utilities, Property and Recreation Committee Wednesday night.

The duo presented the committee with a pair of alternatives for upgrading the plant.

The first option would be to renovate the plant using the current treatment process, which uses a device called a solid contact unit to remove particulates, clarify and soften the raw water pumped from the Yellowstone River.

He also described the SCU as a “safety issue,” as it is leaking and slinging water onto electrical control equipment.

“You’ve got your money’s worth out of it,” Armstrong said of the 50-plus-year-old device.

The option Armstrong presented would be to abandon the old SCU and build two new ones. The SCUs would be housed in a new building built over the site where the old Burlington Northern basins now stand. The old basins would be demolished to make way for the new SCUs.

Going with the option of building two new SCUs would cost an initial estimate of $8.8 million. That figure is the total projected project cost and includes construction, engineering and contingency fund costs.

The city’s other option would be to go with a different treatment process using “membrane technology.”

Bradley presented the option, telling FUPR Committee members he recommended retrofitting the treatment plant to utilize submerged membranes. Modular sections of membranes would be installed in the filtration tanks in the plant’s filter building.

Bradley told committee members that if money was no object, he would advocate leveling the existing plant completely and building a new membrane treatment facility that would take up a fraction of the size of the current plant.

Asked how much it would cost to build a totally new membrane treatment plant, Bradley said his “rough estimate” would be $13-14 million.


However, Bradley said he was confident retrofitting the existing facility to use submerged membranes for treatment would meet the city’s needs. 

Currently, Glendive’s peak demand for water is approximately 3.5 mgd. Based on 20 year population projections, that peak demand is forecast to reach 7 mgd.

The total project cost of going with the membrane retrofit option is an estimated $10.57 million, which includes construction, engineering costs and contingency fund costs. 

That estimate does not include any costs for demolishing the old BN basins.

The FUPR Committee made no decisions on the matter.


Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.



Get the whole story in the April 13, 2014 issue of the Ranger-Review.
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