New River Water Intake Project Scheduled to be Completed by November 7

Published Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm

The New River Water Intake Project is getting closer to being finished with three months remaining on the project contract with the Harper Corporation. 

The project has certainly had its supporters and detractors over the last few years of planning and construction. The High Country Press recently had the opportunity to take a tour and photograph the areas around the water pump and the new water treatment plant that is being constructed. 

Project work is expected to be completed by November 7, that according to Boone Public Works Director, Rick Miller.

As construction continues to wind down, some of the final work being done is make the pump station blend in with the surroundings. 

“At completion by November it will look like a barn and not like what you see now,” said Miller.

Miller added that some of the piping that can still be seen right now will also have new landscaping around it with native plants and grasses. 

“This site used to be terraced with strawberries and watermelons from the Cooper farm, so surely grass will grow,” he said.

According to Miller, this spot along the New River was chosen for the water intake because it met the state standards required to pull water from the river.

“The purpose of this project,” said Miller, “is to meet the water needs of Boone’s growing population. The selection of this particular site for the intake valve (water withdrawal) and pump house was determined by availability and flow testing.”

Based on the town’s calculations using state guidelines and an independent engineering firm, HSMN, the water flow of the river was determined to withstand the amount of water extraction needed along a 12-mile stretch. The Cooper’s were the only farm that agreed to sell. The town bought 10 acres and left the Coopers with a remaining 80.

All photos were taken by Joan Brook.

Rick Miller, Public Works Director for the Town of Boone and Chris Hall, Supervisor from the Harper Corporation walk out to the site of the $42 million new water project along the New River. Beginning in February of 2017, this 12-mile section of waterline, new pump house, intake valve and water treatment plant are scheduled to be completed by November 7, 2018.

Canoe enthusiasts continue to enjoy these beautiful summer days along a curve in the River. The property of Mr. Frank Packard of Todd can be seen in the background with sandbags from the construction site in the foreground.

“This infiltration gallery, dimensions 18 ft. by 30 ft. at the head of the intake valve, works like a drain in a bathtub,” said Miller. “Water flows in and falls to the bottom through the pipes.”

Construction is ongoing on the new pump station. “At completion by November it will look like a barn and not like what you see now,” said Miller.

Piping is visible on the far left of the construction. “When the project is done, this area will be re- landscaped with only Native species plants and grass,” said Miller. “This site used to be terraced with strawberries and watermelons from the Cooper farm, so surely grass will grow.”

Pump house under construction.

View of the pump house, site of intake valve and homeowners across the River. “The purpose of this project,” said Miller, “is to meet the water needs of Boone’s growing population. The selection of this particular site for the intake valve (water withdrawal) and pump house was determined by availability and flow testing.” Based on the City’s calculations using State guidelines and an independent engineering firm, HSMN, the water flow of the River was determined to withstand the amount of water extraction needed along a 12 mile stretch. The Cooper’s were the only farm that agreed to sell. The City bought 10 acres and left the Coopers with a remaining 80.

Looking down at the water pipes 30 feet below the surface.

The pipes made of ductile iron considered to degrade less than PVC.

Filters for inside the pipeline.

Underground pipeline below Coopers’ Dairy Farm.

Completion of pipeline installation along Brownwood Road.

Upon completion, this pump station is designed to look like a single family home. The City of Boone received a grant from the USDA, plus two loans equaling 32 million dollars with the remaining 10 million to be brought to a vote next week in the town council meeting.

Treatment Plant Photos

In addition to the work being completed at the pump station, construction of the new water treatment plant in Boone is also nearing the finish line.

Empty flocculant sedimentary or “sed” basin currently under construction.

Filled basin where particles called flocculants are filtered.

New control panels in the filter room.

Primary flocculant sedimentary basins soon to be refurbished. Three fifths of the sampling stations have been replaced.

Water filled “sed” basin.

Weir in basin where water flows out to be delivered to sedimentary basins.

New filtering device in sedimentary basins.

Roger Hicks pointing out flocculants in the “sed” basin.

In the lab where different levels of turbidity are calculated.

New electrical panel installation.

Tanks for holding chemicals for water treatment.

Three new bulk chemical containers. The original two are on the right.

Old Westinghouse electrical panel from 1982. “The parts aren’t even available anymore,” said, Joshua Eller, Deputy Public Works Director

Old chlorine gas room currently “mothballed” and replaced by liquid perchlorate.

Site for new building.

Basement of treatment plant. Raw water intake pipes. Electrical panels part of the refurbishment.

Deputy Director Joshua Eller showing off one of three new dehumidifiers.

Site of old dehumidifier.

Sludge pumps are seldom used.

Backwash wastewater from sand filters.

Finished water on its way to clear wells for storage.

Newly constructed one million gallon clearwell. Previously the city produced three MGD or million gallons per day. The new construction increases production to 4.5 MGD.

Holding tank for backwash wastewater.

Lateral view of new building currently under construction.

Original intake water site on the South Fork of the New River.

Original pump house.

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