Ames Water Treatment Plant
Ames Water Treatment Plant
The new Ames Water Treatment Plant is open, and the City couldn’t be more proud. After a decade of studies, plans and construction, Ames, Iowa, is ready to serve its community clean drinking water for decades to come.
The City’s first filtration plant came online in 1927 with a capacity of 2 million gallons per day. Improvements continued throughout the 20th century, with major plant expansions ending in the early 1990s.
In 2007, the City’s water plant hit a single-day peak demand record of 10.2 mgd. It was clear that additional capacity would soon be needed beyond the plant’s existing 12 mgd.
The City conducted a study with HDR and Fox Engineering in 2008 to determine its future water needs. The team performed an overall assessment of the City’s treatment facilities to evaluate the costs and non-monetary factors associated with different upgrade options: expanding the existing treatment plant, constructing a new plant, or a hybrid solution combining the two options. Existing plant processes, as well as condition of structures and equipment, were part of the facility evaluation. The City’s water conservation program and its potential effectiveness in reducing the rate of demand growth were also assessed. Ultimately, the study showed that the current water plant would not be able to sustain that demand.
On July 14, 2009, the City contracted with Fox Engineering (lead), HDR and Barr Engineering to start planning and design for a new plant. A complete needs assessment formed the basis for decisions about the long-range future of the Ames Water Treatment Plant and resulted in a recommendation to construct it with a nominal capacity of 15 mgd at a new location.
Predesign took place from 2009 to 2012, including a lengthy land acquisition process. The site selected for the new plant was chosen due to its proximity to the existing treatment plant. The land was acquired through a unique land swap with the Federal government, requiring acts of Congress.
Design was complete by the spring of 2014, and construction started in November of 2014. On August 26, 2017, the City hosted a ribbon-cutting and open house for the public to tour the new facility.
HDR worked closely with City staff to develop a building design to meet their needs and obtain LEED certification. Our major scope of work included architectural, structural, mechanical HVAC, mechanical plumbing, and process chemical systems including lime, fluoride, polyphosphate, polymer, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and sodium hypochlorite.
The $55 million facility was built to be sustainable and have lower operating costs. Everyone who worked at the old plant was consulted and able to bring their ideas forward — a plant built with true collaboration and innovation.