Well Thought Out

A unique water supply well and treatment plant design delivers quantity and quality for the City of Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Addressing water quantity

The scale, complexity and magnitude of the Stevens Point Well 11 water supply and treatment project are unique among large municipal facilities in Wisconsin.

Well 11 is the largest capacity municipal well in Wisconsin, having more than three times the capacity of the next largest capacity municipal well. The well is a horizontal collector well, only the eighth such well ever constructed in the state and the first to be constructed in more than 20 years.

image of treatment plant

The horizontal collector well design allows for a very large well yield, but with little groundwater drawdown impacts to the surrounding area.

Even at the extremely high test pumping rate of 10,000 gallons per minute (gpm), most large municipal wells pump between 2,000 and 3,000 gpm; the drawdown impact on groundwater levels at a distance of a quarter mile away was measured to be only one inch.

Improving water quality and efficiency

Because the well was located one mile away from the nearest sanitary sewer main, this created a design challenge for handling wastewater from the plant. To address this challenge, the treatment plant design includes a virtual zero liquid discharge design.

Less than 0.005% of the water pumped through the treatment plant is wasted, making the Stevens Point Well 11 treatment plant one of the most efficient groundwater treatment facilities in Wisconsin.

To enhance treated water quality, the treatment plant includes the largest set of ultraviolet disinfection reactors of any municipal groundwater treatment plant in Wisconsin. Ultraviolet radiation disinfects the well water, reduces the need to add chlorine for disinfection and provides a barrier for any viruses that may enter the water supply.

To enhance operational reliability, the plant also includes the largest set of natural gas-fueled electrical generators of any municipal groundwater treatment plant in Wisconsin. The $15 million project was financed with more than $2 million in grant funding and more than $12 million in low-interest loan funding from the Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Fund Program.

Innovation spotlight: mobile water treatment plant

To provide more cost-effective and efficient drinking water treatment plant designs and renovations, SEH water plant operators use a custom-built, enclosed, mobile pilot water treatment trailer to simulate water treatment processes.

image of mobile treatment plant

Inside the pilot water plant trailer, SEH water treatment operations specialists can simulate any treatment process to address a variety of challenging water qualities. These processes include chemical mixing, flocculation, settling and filtration. SEH can analyze a community’s unique water supply chemistry and identify the best possible solution to filter and treat new or existing water supply sources to help communities enjoy the highest quality drinking water.

The information that SEH collects at the source helps community leaders make more informed decisions about water treatment needs and equipment options. This allows SEH to more accurately identify the most efficient and cost-effective treatment solutions.

The cost of a typical pilot treatment study is a fraction (0.1 to 1%) of the total cost of the water treatment plant design. The pilot plant trailer allows SEH to arrive at the water treatment design solutions right away. It eliminates the short- and long-term costs associated with using generalized treatment processes to address a specific source water quality and unnecessary equipment.

More and more, SEH relies on water pilot plant studies to help clients optimize treatment plant designs, make the most of limited budgets and resources, improve the environment and enhance the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.

Contact John Thom

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