Enhancement added to upgrade of facility

Sep. 25, 2013 @ 07:27 PM

The City of Henderson modified its $16.6 million budget for sewer facility upgrades by funding a custom-fitted automatic brush system to keep final clarifiers clean.

Tom Spain, facility director for the Henderson Water Reclamation Facility, explained to City Council members on Monday the enemy is the buildup of algae and other debris that traditionally has to be cleaned by hand.

Spain said his full request for a $55,709 transfer from contingency funds already approved for the project includes about $11,000 for more automatically closing doors at the facility.

According to Spain, the Weir Wolf brand brush system has improved over the years from early attempts that were prone to need repairs.

“They now have done 1,900 installations, and they do a great job,” Spain said. “These keep clarifiers scraped off all the time.”

The brush system has to be custom-fitted using a rotating arm that includes light-weight but durable metals in the structures at the end of the arm that hold the brushes in place against the uneven surfaces of the round clarifier pools.

The cleaning motion is a slow rotation of the arm that pushes the brush assembly continually around the clarifier tank.

Spain noted the advantages of keeping surfaces scraped clean: cutting down on odors, short circuit incidents and uneven flow through the system. Hand brushing is also time consuming, needing more manpower hours.

“This removes the debris every day, 24 hours a day, instead of it all getting cleaned at once, going down to clog up just about every filter we have,” Spain said.

The system starts saving money about a year after paying the initial $45,000 cost. From there, the saving adds up: about $270,000 in 10 years before larger costs can be expected from replacement or repairs.

Spain said that there are more points at the facility where safety is a concern because of storms if doors are neglected. Automatically shutting doors would go a long way to solving the problem.

“I think that this change order is needed,” Spain said. “I would highly recommend it.”

In discussing the project change, council members asked about the progress of the renovations overall. Spain said the work is about a quarter of the way done, but running about six weeks behind schedule.

Assistant City Manager Frank Frazier said some wet weather hit early on, setting some beginning phases back several weeks.

“I think in the first part of the summer we had some extremely wet weather,” Frazier said, adding he believed that adjustments in the work schedule shows promise of getting back on schedule during the fall.

Frazier estimated the contingency fund for the project at $601,431 after spending for the brush system and the doors.

• The council also accepted $3,924 in grant money for new bulletproof vests for the police department. The federal grant covers about 37 percent of the total costs for new vests, according to a report by city manager Ray Griffin.

• Six vehicles and some scrap metal have been declared surplus. The items are to be added to listings at GovDeals on the Internet for auction. The vehicles include a 2007 Dodge Charger, two 2005 Crown Victoria model Fords, a 2003 Crown Victoria, a 2001 Chevrolet Impala and a 1994 Chevrolet Suburban.


Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.