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Team work and value engineering reduces the costs and helps Citizens Energy Group meet a regulatory deadline

Citizens Energy Group turned to Consulting Management Inspection Design, Inc. (CMID) and F.A. Wilhelm Construction to meet a state-mandated deadline for bringing the new sampling station for the Belmont Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) Plant  online. Together, CMID and Wilhelm engineered a plan to significantly reduce the cost of the project and still keep it on schedule.

Larry Maddux, Engineering Project Manager, said the timeline was tight because they were working under a state-mandated compliance deadline of June 1 to have the station up and running. He said the compliance schedule was the result of new, stricter state requirements for copper and zinc at the Belmont   AWT Plant .

Mr. Maddux said in order to show the treatment facility is meeting the new requirements, it required automatic samples to  be collected 150 feet downstream of the original structure to be more representative of the quality of treated water discharged into the White River. This meant building a new structure.

The new sampling station is a below ground structure  that allows safe access to the main pipe, which runs underground, transporting treated water from the facility into the White River. Both automatic and manual samples are collected from the pipe to ensure that the water discharged into the river meets state water quality requirements for not only metals but other conventional pollutants found in the wastewater from local industries and homes.

Jason Windholtz, Wilhelm Project Manager, said the project initially involved building a “basement” around the 10-foot diameter pipe to support the structure above. This plan called for excavating around the existing pipe while installing the necessary pipe support and shoring. The preconstruction team of Tyler Blank, Mike Bouchey and Wayne Feng evaluated these risks and were able to help CMID develop a revised proposal for submission to Citizens Energy Group that benefited the entire team.

Larry Maddux QuoteMr. Maddux said that Wilhelm assisted CMID with value engineering and together, developed a structural design, taking advantage of an H-pile deep foundation system to significantly reduce the cost of the structure. With this type of foundation, which involves driving large piles into the ground for support, the need for costly excavation is minimized. Instead of building a concrete mat slab under and subsequent basement walls the new system using the 10 H-pile beams allowed the foundation system to start towards the top of the pipe significantly reducing potential risk, cost and schedule issues.

Changing the design of a project with an already-tight timeline is never easy. But, Wilhelm’s superintendent on the project, Dustin Cody, was able to manage the day-to-day operations to help meet the June 1 deadline.

Formerly a laborer with Wilhelm, this was Cody’s first time in taking the lead on a project. Mr. Maddux said he was impressed with how he handled all the complexities associated with this project. “Cody was very conscientious in meeting our needs, coordinating all the deliveries and making sure all the necessary changes were handled,” he said. Mr. Maddux added that Cody also kept everyone involved with the project well informed and made sure there were no loose ends. “I would give him very positive reviews,” he said.

Mr. Maddux also said that the whole team came through on this project. He said CMID and Wilhelm engineers collaborated with Citizens Energy Group to get the structure built for less than the original bid. He added that CMID was also very pleased with the assistance Wilhelm provided with value engineering and the construction of the sampling station within the required timeline.

“It was very important to us to get the sampling station done and turn it over to operations by the June 1st compliance date,” Mr. Maddux said.  “My compliments to everybody working together as a team.”

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