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Wastewater treatment repairs plagued by snags

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Unforeseen circumstances caused the cost of repairs at the City of Delta's wastewater treatment plant to escalate, utilities/public works director Steve Glammeyer explained at a recent Delta City Council meeting.

The council had previously approved $39,650 for repairs to the centrifuge, which is essential to the operation of the plant. The contractor's estimate assumed the internal components running the motor were in working order. But when the contractor opened the rotating assembly to make repairs, it was discovered those components were not working properly, causing intermittent overheating of the unit.

"Those internal parts and old type motor are now obsolete, so we are now required to install a newer motor and internal parts causing an increase in cost of $19,000," Glammeyer explained.

"We have also seen an increase in the original amount estimated for shipping in order to get the unit out and back as quick as possible," he said, adding the centrifuge is a piece of equipment "we need desperately."

That wasn't the end of the bad news, however. Glammeyer explained that a crane and trolley system was installed to place the unit in the wastewater treatment plant. As city staff prepared to remove the centrifuge for transport, the trolley I-beam failed and the unit dropped onto the concrete driveway. Inspection revealed the fall damaged bearings in the unit's main motor.

In addition to the cost of repairs, a new crane and trolley system is needed to move the unit in and out for repairs in the future.

Fortunately, Glammeyer said, no one was injured when the I-beam failed and the unit dropped. Plus, there are unspent funds in the budget to cover the additional costs. He estimated the total cost of repairs at $63,105, up from the original contract amount of $39,650.

Understanding the importance of the centrifuge to the plant's operation, council members unanimously approved the additional expenditure.

The city has contacted CIRSA, which provides the city's property and liability insurance, to determine if the city can pursue restitution from the firm that designed and installed the trolley system.

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