Platte West Water Production Facility
At the turn of the 21st century, as the western boundary of Omaha, Nebraska, continued to move outward, Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) officials determined that a new water treatment facility was needed to keep up with the increased needs of its expanding customer base.
MUD had been providing Omaha area residents with high quality drinking water for nearly a century. Their first treatment plant opened in the 1920s and their second in the 1960s. When combined with MUD's peak shaving wells, the two plants, one located on the bank of the Missouri River northeast of the city and the other on the Platte River south of the city, had a capacity to provide area residents with up to 234 million gallons per day (mgd) of water.
MUD selected HDR to provide the required engineering services for the planning, design and construction of a third treatment plant, the Platte West Water Production Facility to be located west of Omaha, providing a "triangle of reliability" complementing the existing facilities and adding critically needed capacity. Work on the design began in February 2003, and with its successful startup in 2008, Platte West added 100 mgd of potable water capacity – enough to accommodate the anticipated needs of Omaha area residents for the next 30 years or more.
Our services for the project were provided through a series of four task orders – a well field, raw water main, treatment plant and finished water main. Because of nearby residential developments and major roads to the south and east, Platte West is a highly visible facility. The HDR team worked with MUD staff to help ensure it would be a credit to the neighborhood. MUD's board of directors established specific design requirements, including features such as a pitched roof system, natural lighting for basins and outbuildings, a central control room and a strong identity for entry.
The Platte West well field covers approximately 1,900 acres and is designed with a minimum firm pumping capacity of 104 mgd. It consists of 42 gravel-packed vertical wells approximately 100 feet deep; piping that includes Platte River crossings (two 48-inch diameter directional-drilled crossings each about 2,800 feet in length); well structures that include valve/meter vaults; pumping equipment with drives; and electrical distribution, instrumentation, roadway and security systems.
Platte West's raw water transmission main connects the well field to the southwest corner of the treatment plant site. The 72-inch diameter pipeline is about 22,000 feet long and includes a crossing of the Elkhorn River. A 16-inch diameter backwash water drain line is also included within the raw water main easement.
The 100 mgd water treatment plant includes pre-treatment basins; split-treatment lime softening for hardness, organics reduction and iron/manganese removal; filtration and disinfection using free chlorine as the primary disinfectant and chloramines as the secondary disinfectant. The facility also includes:
- Finished water storage (15 mg) and 130 mgd of pumping capacity to three separate zones
- Backwash treatment systems
- Administrative, maintenance and personnel areas
- Stand-by power generators (3,200 KW)
- Chemical storage and feed systems (lime, powdered activated carbon, permanganate, ferric, fluoride, polymer, chlorine and aqueous ammonia)
- Instrumentation and control systems
- Security systems
Future treatment needs were considered in the design and facility layout with provision for 100 percent softening recarbonation and UV disinfection. Residuals handling and treatment includes solids pumping, solids thickening and dewatering with plate and frame presses, pH control facilities, solids storage and pipeline facilities.
Platte West's finished water transmission main connects the treatment plant to the north service area through the Skyline Reservoir on Pacific Street. The main is 54 inches in diameter, approximately 10,000 feet long and includes a crossing of West Center Road, a major West Omaha thoroughfare. Another 54-inch line leaves the site to the east, running parallel to Q Street, and a 36-inch line serves Zone 3 (a higher pressure area) near the plant.