Construction Update/July 2020

It’s been six months since we began construction of the new Water Reclamation Facility.

Soil Being Hauled to the Site to Improve Ground Conditions

During this phase of construction, some may notice trucks hauling soil daily to the site. In total, there will be 1.9 million tons of dirt placed onto the site; the effort will take about six months to complete.

When finished, the result will be a pile that will be 35 feet tall, nearly equivalent to a four-story building, and covering 23 acres, about the size of 18 football fields.

Why such a big pile of dirt? Based on core samples taken at multiple locations throughout the project site, geotechnical engineers–who are responsible for the structural foundations of the new Facility–determined that the poor soil conditions and high groundwater level would result in the new construction elements settling three to five feet unless the ground is stabilized. The soil being placed at such a height will compress and stabilize the site. Once the ground is stabilized, the extra fill dirt will be removed.

Using this method to compact or pre-load the soil, instead of driving piles, saves ratepayers roughly $40 million. Piles will still be used to support structures at other locations on the project site.

We’re working to reduce the impact of this work. We realize that an increase in truck traffic on Warm Springs Road to 2300 North can have an impact on nearby businesses and residents that travel on that road. To reduce this impact, we have put in place traffic management and dust control plans, including specific truck routes leaving the Staker Parson Gravel Pit to mitigate neighborhood impacts. Please be a ware that there are numerous trucks leaving this gravel pit for many other projects across the Salt Lake valley. Plans will be modified as necessary during this pre-loading phase of the project.

New Influent Sewer Pipeline Being Constructed

We’re building a new influent pipeline to convey sewage to the new Facility using gravity rather than pumping. By using gravity to convey wastewater to the new Water Reclamation Facility, we can relocate the existing pump station within the property of the main plant, thereby consolidating operations and maintenance, resulting in improved efficiencies, and eliminating a source of odors near the golf course, neighboring schools, and residences.

The pipeline, which will originate near the Rose Park Golf Course and end at the Facility site, will be 84 inches in diameter and 4,700 feet long. It will be buried approximately 25 to 35 feet below the ground surface to achieve gravity flow. The pipeline, which is currently planned to be constructed of centrifugally cast fiberglass reinforced by polymer mortar pipe or FRP, has an anticipated service life of up to 75 years.

The pipeline will likely be installed using a method known as microtunneling, which uses a remote-controlled boring machine to carve a tunnel that slightly exceeds the outside diameter of the pipe being installed. The pipe is then guided into the hole as the boring machine proceeds. Vertical shafts will be constructed at locations where the course of the pipeline changes direction. The staging locations for the boring machinery will be near the Rose Park Golf Course and Marathon Oil’s property. We are still investigating the costs and benefits of installing the pipeline using an open cut method instead of microtunneling. A decision on the installation method will be made in the coming months.

We are working hard to reduce the impact of the pipeline construction. We have been working with the Rose Park Golf Course and Marathon Oil to put in place a construction plan that accommodates their needs. For example, the golf course prefers that word done on their property occur during winter months to limit impact on course users. Noise and vibration from the microtunneling process should be minimal, and staging areas will be surrounded by safety fencing. Similar to the main plant site, improvements to the existing soil are needed to limit any settling of the gravity sewer pipe. In this case, grout will be injected into the soil at a set depth along with route of the pipeline to act as underground piers to support the weight of the sewer.

We are Committed to Being a Good Neighbor and Responsible Member of the Community.

As construction on the new Water Reclamation Facility continues, we are working hard to limit impacts, be a good neighbor and be a responsible member of the community.

We are committed to the project being a model of what a cost and community-conscious large infrastructure project should be. We want it to be a legacy project that people are proud of and that will serve the City and its residents for generations.

Top Contractors Hired to Build New Water Reclamation Facility

Project Will Create 150 Jobs

Three of the country’s largest and most respected engineers and builders — Jacobs, AECOM and Sundt/PCL Joint Venture— have been hired by Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities to the new Water Reclamation Facility. 

“Because the reclamation facility is a such a critical piece of infrastructure, we’re taking a strategic and methodical approach to its construction and that means having the very best team on board to make it happen,” said SLCDPU Director Laura Briefer. “The facility – which serves more than 200,00 people and treats about 35 million gallons of wastewater every day – must operate 24/7 without interruption, even during construction, and it must operate for decades.”

This $700 million project will take six years to complete and is one of the largest public works projects in Salt Lake City history.

The construction team expects to employ those experienced in the latest wastewater treatment technologies—local engineers, pipe layers, journeymen, skilled construction trade workers, foremen and general laborers.  In total, the contracting team expects to hire around 150 people.

About the Contractors

Jacobs is providing overall Program Management services to deliver the New WRF project. Jacobs leads the global professional services sector providing solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With approximately $12 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 50,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors. Jacobs holds an industry leading position across the entire water cycle, offering clients world-leading technical and environmental expertise to address complex challenges across water, wastewater, desalination and flood control challenges. Jacobs recently earned the distinction award for the Water Company of the Year at the 2019 Global Water Awards. The firm was ranked number one by Engineering News-Records in 2019 Top 500 Design Firms and by Trenchless Technology’s 2018 Top 50 Trenchless Engineering Firms. Jacobs is ranked the #1 Most Admired Company in the World in the Engineering, Construction category by Fortune Magazine

AECOM is providing Engineering Design services for the New WRF project. AECOM is a $20.2 billion global company, with 87,000 employees and more than 100 years of experience designing and managing water systems. AECOM has built numerous iconic projects, such as the World Trade Center, One Vanderbilt, and Hudson Yards. Some of AECOM’s related projects include Delhi Sewerage System, Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant, Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facilities, and Orange County Sanitation District P2-92 Sludge De-watering and Odor Project.  Fortune magazine named AECOM one of the world’s most-admired companies for five consecutive years. 

Sundt/PCL (Joint Venture) is providing Construction Management/General Contractor services to construct the New WRF project.  Sundt Construction is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors in the US. The 129-year-old firm is 100 percent employee-owned and known nationally for its commitment to quality and innovative approaches to construction services. Since the 1950s, Sundt has constructed some of the most complex water treatment projects in the Southwest. The firm employs over 2,500 people and has 12 offices throughout Utah, Arizona, Texas and California.

PCL Construction, established in 1906, is a group of independent construction companies that works throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia and ranked #7 on Engineering-News Record’s Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and building markets are supported by 4,000 full-time professional staff, 10,000 hourly tradespeople, and 31 offices. Together, they have an annual construction volume of $9 billion, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Some of their top recent projects include Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam Replacement, Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Facility, and San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility.