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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Water Improvements project progressing

Monday, February 21, 2011

Employees with Caldwell Tanks, Louisville, Ky., work with rebar for the foundation of the 750,000-gallon composite water tower at Craig Park Tuesday. According to officials, the foundation on the tower could be completed by the end of the week. [Order this photo]
While the recent ice storm may have frozen a lot of things around town, progress on the City of Brazil's Water System Improvements Project was not.

After meeting with contractors recently for a monthly status update meeting, Hannum, Wagle and Cline (HWC) Project Engineer Matthew Pierce and Professional Engineer Brian Pohlar spoke with The Brazil Times about where things currently stand.

"The storm definitely slowed things down a bit, but the equivalent of a couple of days were probably lost," Pierce said. "We had the foundation foreman with Caldwell Tanks (Louisville, Ky.), tell us they spent about two hours each day during the storm and freezing temperatures thawing things out, making them less productive than they hoped in working on the water tower at Craig Park."

According to Pierce, the foundation on the tower could be completed by the end of the week, with crews to begin work on the pedestal anticipated to start as early as Monday.

For the smaller tower being constructed along Frontage Road, progress isn't too much further behind.

Pohlar said officials with Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors, Avon, Ind., believe the foundation for the 250,000-gallon tower could be completed within the next couple of weeks.

"Things are moving right along, even with the severity of the recent weather conditions," Pohlar told The Brazil Times.

However, the weather did create a delay in completing a portion of the water distribution system improvements, which has resulted in a couple of issues.

"A couple of the old water mains that have been replaced did not get capped off due to the weather and equipment not being available," Pierce said. "One of those mains has started to leak, which is not affecting the drinking water, but a few of the meter pits on Knight Street are filling up with water because of it."

He added the contractor and city are working together to make sure the lines get capped off and abandoned.

Scheduling changes are being made for the installation of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which is also affecting completion of the new well.

"Initially, the SCADA system was going to be put completely in near the end of the projects to make sure everything was tied together at the same time," Pohlar said. "However, with the existing telecommunication line between the well field and the water plant being decommissioned by Endeavor, we've had to move things up a little."

He explained the radio communications portion of the SCADA will be hooked up to the plant this spring, then to the booster station later in the year, and finally to the water towers when they are completed.

"We were also able to find out there is an alarm system set up to notify officials should there be a power outage," Pierce said. "A 30-minute backup system will kick in, at which time the system's computer at the plant will be notified, followed by sending alerts to the phones of officials, whose numbers will be input as immediate contacts."

While the last of the ice and snow from the storm is starting to melt away, both Pohlar and Pierce agreed they are hoping for clearer days ahead.

"The less severe weather we get, the more progress we can make," Pohlar said. "However, we can never predict what Mother Nature will throw at us."

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