Council receives utility project updates

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019

Public Utilities Director Al Moor updated Suffolk City Council on a slate of utility projects during a work session Wednesday.

The G. Robert House Jr. Surface Water Plant upgrade is about 5 percent complete, and, at a cost of nearly $8.8 million, is scheduled to be completed by September 2020. The plant, which services Suffolk from the northern end to the Obici area of the city as well as the Newport Service District in Isle of Wight County, was originally built in 1982.

The surface water portion of the plant was taken out of service about one week ago, while the groundwater portion of the plant continues to operate.
“Demolition of some of the facilities is going to start next week,” Moor said.


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He said there are three areas in which work will take place — in the sedimentation basins, the filters within the building itself and the pipeline. He also noted that a lot of piping will be replaced due to its age and condition.
“It’s had its wear and tear over the years,” Moor said.

He told council that the water quality would not change much, but with groundwater a little bit softer, residents will likely notice that it will take more to rinse soap off of themselves.

Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett said he’s been trying to explain to people the cost of the work at the water treatment plant as it relates to residents’ water bills.

“The more (people) understand about the costs, and especially redoing the plant and all, maybe that will help them understand better the rates that we have,” Bennett said.

Moor said a notice to proceed with work on a transmission main and a sewer force main is scheduled to happen this fall, with the work to be completed by fall 2020.

The 30- and 36-inch transmission main runs from Route 10 and Everets Road to Chuckatuck, while the eight-inch sewer force main will go from Route 10 and Everets Road to Kings Highway, Moor said. The project’s total cost is $5.5 million, with all but $500,000 of that cost going toward the water transmission main.

The Chuckatuck and Oakland water system upgrades, and the Isle of Wight-Route 10 20-inch water transmission main work, are estimated to receive their notices to proceed by this fall. The work on the water system upgrades, at a cost of $2 million should be done by fall 2020, Moor said, while the work on the Route 10 water transmission main, which will cost $2.5 million, should be finished by summer 2020.

The work on the Chuckatuck/Oakland water system upgrades will replace old two-inch water lines that were part of the old well system, Moor said.

Water upgrades along Rosewood Drive and Old Somerton Road are scheduled to be finished by April, Moor said, at a cost of about $2.6 million.