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Water Works Improvement Project

City Water, Light & Power (CWLP)

Water utilities are under increased pressure to keep rates under control, while complying with ever-increasing environmental regulations and responding to unpredictable rainfall patterns. The engineering industry is in a unique position to assist utilities in addressing these challenges. On the $40 million CWLP Water Works Improvement Project, CMT and its team focused on designing an economical system with long-term benefits by maximizing efficiency and reliability at every turn.

This project represents the most significant infrastructure investment that CWLP has made in the last 60 years. It includes 52 MG low- and 60 MG high-service pump stations, a six MG clearwell, and intake and tunnel improvements, along with associated site work, piping, and electrical components.

Efficiency was achieved through an innovative approach to automating the pumping system. CMT introduced an “optimal operating range” standard for the pumps by determining the best efficiency point for the flow and head combinations. Under automated control, the pumps will respond to current conditions and demand, and operate at 95% efficiency.

Reliability was one of the client’s overriding goals for this project. It was determined that the best way to provide this reliability would be through the strategic use of redundant equipment and systems, to a much higher degree than is usually provided on a project of this type or required by regulations or codes. Recognizing the city’s efforts over the years to incrementally enhance resiliency against drought, CMT recommended that the low service pump station be lowered an additional four feet. The result was a yield of an additional 2.8 billion gallons of water from Lake Springfield, equating to an extra five-month supply of water.