Water Distribution System Improvements

DWSRF Water Distribution System Improvements

Project Owner
City of Hondo
Principal-in-Charge
Joncie Young, P.E.
Project Managers
Bob Lane and Grayson Cox, P.E.
Project Completed
November 2018

Due to water loss percentages of about 13.3% in 2011, ever increasing capacity requirements, and the need to conserve as much water as possible, the City of Hondo hired KSA to replace approximately 4.5 miles of water lines in their distribution system. Utilizing funds secured through a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan, the city wanted replacement lines to improve system hydraulics, provide fire protection, and reduce water loss.
 
The primary purpose of the water line replacements was twofold: First of all, we wanted to install larger diameter water lines where needed to hydraulically connect the water distribution system components. Secondly, we replaced old and dilapidated lines that have a history of leaks. KSA utilized WaterCAD to conduct a hydraulic model of the city’s water system. By doing this, areas of inadequate hydraulic connectivity were identified. Using various demand and development scenarios, this analysis was performed with the proposed elevated water storage tank – another project KSA is completing with the City of Hondo. We also interviewed the city staff and reviewed their work logs to create a priority list of the most pressing repair needs. After completing these two pre-design strategies, we were able to easily create an effective and cost efficient scope for the project budget.
 
KSA is highly experienced in the design and administration of construction for water line projects; especially in cities where as-built information is scarce and many unknowns exist within the city’s utility system. Based on this, we anticipated unknowns and factored those elements into the budget and contingency design features that could be utilized if needed. This type of forward-thinking allowed us to be ready to implement design solutions if/when the need arose, without any delays in the project schedule. Because these anticipated issues were already priced within the bid schedule on a per-unit basis, there were no surprising bills or disputes over change orders.
 
The project required a very long bore under a contiguous railroad and highway right-of-way. Because we’ve worked on projects like this in the area, we had a host of contacts and information to draw upon to safely design the bore to avoid existing utilities within this right-of-way, and expedite the permitting process.
 
The available funding from the DWSRF loan was awarded to fund three distinct projects: water line replacements, a new elevated water storage tank, and tank rehabilitations – all projects KSA is completing with the City of Hondo. The design and construction of these improvements were generally concurrent, so the exact amounts available for each project is unknown until bidding and construction is completed. Due to the potential changes in funding amounts for each project, the water lines for this particular project were designated into three categories according to their priority, and bid using alternate bid schedules to ensure the highest priority lines were built first. Because of the competitive bid prices we received and accurate design cost estimates, all the water lines identified for replacement fit within the allotted, DWSRF budget and are included in the awarded construction scope.
 

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