$2.7 million project to provide water for years to come

Progress is being made to further the City’s $2.7 million water plant renovation and structural improvements project, including the recent addition of a new water well, which went into service last week, as well as the purchasing of new water treatment clarifier equipment and the finishing of the water plant roof.

City officials, including Mayor Mark Piazza, City councilmen, Roger Fontenot, water plant supervisor, Clay Menard, City public works director, and Gene Sellers, architect, all gathered at the site of the City’s newest water well Friday.

The well is one of two new wells to be constructed as part of a vast renovation of the City water plant. The wells are each capable of producing 1,800 gallons of water per minute, which is enough water to supply the city, Sellers said in an interview Monday.

The new well went online last week, and will be tested for the next 30 days, to alleviate some common bugs, and the next well will go online soon afterward. Sellers said the new wells will supplement the existing well, which is capable of producing the same amount of water, but the addition of the new wells allow water to be pumped from alternating wells, reducing the risk of failure. Sellers said the cost of the two new wells is $558,000.

In addition to the new wells, Sellers explained the public works project also includes the addition of a new water treatment processing clarifier, which will cost the City $244,000. The new clarifier will replace the existing clarifier, which processes 3 million gallons of water per day. The new clarifier will produce the same amount of water, and is made by the same manufacturer as the old clarifier. Sellers said the existing clarifier is 38 years old and is worn-out, corroded and not functioning at 100 percent. The new clarifier, he said, will fit in the same structure as the old one, and residents should not notice a difference in water quality. The new clarifier should arrive in March, and be online about 90 days afterward.

Last on the list of major renovations is the re-roofing of the water plant, which is scheduled for completion in coming months. The new roof replaces the old one, which was finished in 1969, and will cost $56,400. This is the first time the roof has been redone in 38 years, or since it was originally constructed. The new roof is able to withstand 110 mile per hour winds and should last 20-30 years, Sellers said.

The total cost of the project is $2.7 million and includes purchasing a new generator, replacing one service pump and repairing two others, as well as changing leaking gaskets, replacing corroding windows and doors, painting the exterior of the building, changing old chemical feeders, and revamping the electrical system. The entire project is set for completion in June 2009.

Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza had this to say about the water project: “The water supply here in Abbeville is our most critical utility. Our water plant is over 40 years old and in need of repairs. With the addition of two new water wells, this $2.5 million dollar renovation project will provide our citizens good, potable drinking water for years to come.”

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