Water System Engineering

Watermains Connect Us to A Clean Drinking Water Supply

F&V Designs & Constructs Water Systems to Connect Our World.

Water is needed for life. While clean, quality water begins at the treatment plant, the key to communities and businesses receiving the same clean, quality water is the watermains and transmissions lines that deliver it. Breaks, deterioration, and age can affect how the water flows and contaminates its contents. Improving, enhancing, and maintaining water systems and fire hydrants saves lives and makes our communities healthier.

F&V designs and constructs supply and distribution mains of all sizes. We also specialize in energy and water efficiency evaluations, asset management, water reliability studies, and water treatment systems.

Watermain Design

Watermain design must be completed by a registered professional engineer in the state of the project. The design must include well-thought-out pipeline placement maintaining required horizontal and vertical distances to relative to other utilities such as sanitary sewers. The design must also be reviewed and permitted by the state regulatory agency before construction.

The duration of design and construction vary based on many things including size of the project and other work that may be completed at the same time such as road reconstruction. Typical roadblocks are coordination of water service replacement on private property to meet the current state requirements and in some local state jurisdictions, the permit review period can be quite lengthy.

A well thought out plan makes the process of designing a watermain go as easy as it can. Starting a project design with a full understanding of the project’s goals through the utilization of up-to-date documents such as Asset Management Plans and Water Reliability Studies, combined with a community’s master plan for street improvements and replacement of other utilities shorten and overall infrastructure improvement process.

Water Treatment Systems

Design of water treatment systems begins with identifying a water source. The two most common water supplies are groundwater and surface water. The quality of the source water will dictate the extent of treatment required. Drinking water quality is regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State. The EPA sets both primary and secondary drinking water standards for common contaminants of concern. The standards are set to promote the health and safety of public water supply consumers.

The industry standard for designing drinking water systems is based on established technologies. The conventional treatment steps for surface water include coagulation, flocculation, clarification, rapid sand filtration, and disinfection. Groundwater treatment often includes mixed media filtration to remove iron, arsenic, manganese, and dissolved solids, followed by disinfection. Where water source water quality is high, disinfection may be the only process required prior to distribution. Many other filtration methods such as reverse osmosis, microfiltration, and ultrafiltration may be employed to further improve water quality. Emerging contaminants, such as PFAS, can be treated with granular activated carbon and ion-exchange processes.

Drinking water treatment facilities are designed to provide a reliable and safe water supply to consumers. To accomplish this goal, redundancy is built into treatment systems to allow for continued operation while performing necessary maintenance on critical equipment and processes. Treatment facilities also utilize systems to properly disinfect the water and to control corrosion in watermains.

Source Water Protection Systems

Groundwater and surface water are two sources used to supply drinking water. According to the United States Geological Survey, approximately 74% of water comes from surface water sources and 26% comes from groundwater sources. Groundwater is located underground in large aquifers. In order to supply our drinking water needs, a well must be drilled into an aquifer and pumped. Surface water is found in lakes, rivers and streams and is used for drinking water supplies when water is drawn out of an intake. In Michigan, about 45% of the citizens are served by groundwater and 55% are served by surface water.

Both groundwater and surface water systems are potentially at risk from many contaminant sources. To protect this valuable resource, the State of Michigan established the Source Water Protection Program. Communities that use groundwater implement Wellhead Protection Programs while communities that use surface water implement Surface Water Intake Protection Programs.

F&V Can Assist with Asset & Capital Development for Water Systems

F&V is a clear leader in the preparation of Asset Management Plans (AMP). We have been assisting our clients with water asset management and Capital Improvement Planning in various formats for decades. Through this experience, we have developed a deep understanding of meaningful and useful components of an AMP and have developed many internal processes and procedures to efficiently focus our efforts in developing a product that can be a useful to our clients.

Assets we look at related to water systems include:

  • Prepare an inventory of assets for each asset class including age, material and size. This inventory will utilize the existing reliability study, Capital Improvement Plan, field observations, interviews with staff and review of record drawings.
  • Establish replacement costs for each asset.
  • Establish criticality for each asset based on probability of failure, likelihood of failure and remaining useful life.
  • Prepare a “criticality risk matrix” for the assets in each asset class.

Areas of Water Engineering Expertise Also Include:

  • Watermain design and construction
  • Water booster stations
  • Water treatment plants
  • Water filtration improvements
  • Energy and water efficiency evaluations
  • Water asset management plans
  • Water reliability studies
  • Pressure relief valve design
  • Water storage design
  • Water system security planning
  • Drinking water revolving fund planning

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