Hartwell makes repairs to water treatment plant filter system

While refurbishing the Hartwell Water Treatment Plant’s filter system, some unexpected repairs have become necessary, said Hartwell City Manager David Aldrich. The problems could not be seen until the work had already been started, revealing more issues.

We have four filters at the water treatment plant, and as part of the project on the drinking water plant, when we drain down and start working on the filter basins, then is when we’re really able to view the concrete, and it’s a phenomenon called ‘scalding’ and of course, it’s been in there and been in operation for 50 years,” said Aldrich.

Aldrich said the problem needed to be fixed while the current work was being done. He then asked for estimates from the contractors as well as others.

Once we were able to drain it and get everything cleaned out, we’re really able to properly review that, and in some areas there was more damage than we had anticipated because we could not see that. We only knew when we took them out of service. So, what we did do, is that we received an estimate for the repair. I asked for more estimates, so we actually had them go out and ask two other vendors with the same information on what it would be, so this is the lowest quote, the lowest bid,” said Aldrich.

Aldrich told council members the city did not need to take any chances or to try to skimp on the repairs.

When we put it back, we want to put it back right. It’s been in there operating 50 years. We’d like to do what we need to do so when we close this up it’ll operate again for another 50 years. We do not want to do it half-way,” said Aldrich.

The repairs will cost $52,000 but Aldrich said the original bid on the project had built in contingency funds and those funds would cover this expense.

Council members voted unanimously to accept the change order and approve the added repairs.