Iowa City Water Purification Plant
What do more than 50 contractors, hundreds of workers, years of planning and the completion of 23 construction projects have in common with the simple act of turning on a faucet? Answer: the new Iowa City water purification facility that is now on line and delivering clean-tasting, clean-smelling water to residents of Iowa City, Iowa. The new facility replaces a 120-year-old water treatment plant and greatly expands available raw water sources from ground water wells.
The project touched every part of the city’s water system and had to be planned, constructed and brought on line without disrupting current water service. As general contractor, Knutson oversaw the hundreds of workers who built the main water facility, five groundwater well superstructures, an emergency generator building, a new administration building, the ground storage reservoir system, the site for the water mains, roads and more.
The $25.8 million facility has a cast-in-place concrete frame with a precast and masonry exterior. All equipment and controls for the buildings were provided as part of the project, and Knutson placed all 17,900 yards of concrete for floors, columns, roof beams, deep cone foundations and underground storage tanks.
The maximum output of the old system was nine million gallons a day. Changes in the regulatory environment, science and the growing needs of the community drove the project. The new pressurized system has a capacity of 16.7 million gallons a day, ensuring an adequate water supply for the community far into the 21st century.