The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday will consider hiring an engineering company to evaluate the city’s 70-year-old water plant. There are questions about whether Oak Ridge and the U.S. Department of Energy should continue to invest money in the water plant, build a new one at a new site, or consider other alternatives.
The Council on Monday will consider awarding a $98,250 contract to Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. of Knoxville to evaluate the plant. Jacobs Engineering has offices in Oak Ridge.
The city’s 1940s-era water treatment plant is on Pine Ridge above the Y-12 National Security Complex, and it provides water to businesses and residents of Oak Ridge, as well as to DOE.
“The plant is currently 70-plus years old and continues to show signs of aging despite efforts over the last 15 years to modernize and upgrade,” said Shira McWaters, the new Oak Ridge Public Works director. “Many of the plant’s assets are near or have exceeded their useful life cycle and require replacement or major rehabilitation.”
Discussions about the future of the current plant came up as the city and DOE negotiated a contract extension for water supplied to Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. [Read more…]