Project quick facts and answers for frequently asked questions about the project.
When it becomes necessary to expand the replacement water treatment facility in 30-50 years, will the City need to find a new location and build a new facility?
The property where the replacement Water Treatment Facility will be built was specifically chosen to accommodate full expansion without having to search for another site to build a replacement facility.
A key piece of the replacement facility design is the membrane technology chosen to filter water. Currently, the water treatment plant uses large concrete basins filled with coal and sand to filter water; such a system requires a large amount of floor space. Membrane racks use porous filters and can be incrementally increased by adding a additional racks. Each membrane rack is designed to filter approximately 3 to 4 million gallons per day. Incremental expansion can keep pace with population demands while not requiring massive one-time capital expenditures.
Will there be any new jobs for people in Grants Pass?
It’s expected that during construction activities 75-100 good paying local jobs will be created.
Contractors have been encouraged to use local subcontractors and “buy local” practices whenever possible The City of Grants Pass has made use of local workforce and local purchasing an important part of their evaluation of the firms that will be working on the project. The City staff overseeing the effort intend to provide regular reports on progress in this area throughout the construction. A number of local businesses and employers have already been contacted by some of the larger engineering and construction firms regarding potential subcontracting and partnership opportunities.
How long will it be before we need to expand the replacement water treatment facility?
Current projections for growth indicate the replacement water treatment plant will need to be expanded in 30 to 50 years.
Demand for water is not directly proportional to increases in population. People are more conscious of conserving water, using lower-flow shower heads and toilets, high-efficiency washing machines and dishwashers, and more drought-tolerant landscaping. While the City knows people will continue to move towards conserving water, they know there will be increased demand over time. Depending on the expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary or higher density housing, expansion could be necessary sooner, but current projections indicate expansion won’t be necessary for 30 to 50 years.
The replacement plant is expected to meet today’s needs but what about the future?
The replacement plant is sized to meet needs into 2035 but is designed with room to grow with the community.
The Water Treatment Plant Replacement will treat up to 22.5 million gallons of water a day, more than adequate for near term demands. However, the plant design includes room to grow. This will allow for expansions to be done over time (as needed) and will accommodate increased to treatment capacity or up to 45 million gallons per day, literally double. This forward thinking will continue the generational investment in City infrastructure and help secure the future of the next generation.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just fix the old plant and keep it a little longer?
Investment in the Water Treatment Plant Replacement is the most fiscally responsible option.
A series of studies considered a variety of options and considering all costs, found the replacement approach to be the soundest solution. In addition to the catastrophic impacts to the community should the old plant fail, the cost of important retrofits and the continuous costs of repairs have disproportionally increased while the benefits of those improvements and repairs continue to diminish.