Doing More with Less: Water Treatment Plant Asset Planning Under Static Demand Projections


  • Scott Alpert, Ryan Nagel - Hazen and Sawyer

Slowing population growth combined with decreasing per capita usage has caused relatively flat water demand projections in many areas of the country. However, infrastructure assets continue to be consumed with time and, thus, many utilities are now concerned about aging infrastructure for which the effective useful life will expire prior to the need for replacement for capacity expansion. As a result, the new challenge is facility master planning under static demand projections and the corresponding stagnant income from water sales. By incorporating asset management principles and risk-based assessments, prioritized CIPs can be developed for process infrastructure and equipment. This presentation will highlight multiple project examples of the objectives, procedures, and outcomes of this type of planning analysis.

Facility plans based on proposed future regulatory requirements, unit process and reliability evaluations, and condition assessments are critical for defining future capital improvements. Regulatory evaluations establish long-term water quality goals for current treatment standards as well as proposed future regulatory targets and contaminants of emerging concern. Unit treatment process assessments compare facility operating criteria to design and regulatory guidelines and examine capacity under various redundancy goals and levels of service. Facility condition evaluations assess the long-term sustainability of existing infrastructure and equipment. Compiling the results of each task, an asset management risk-based approach using Probability of Failure and Consequence of Failure concepts helps to prioritize individual projects into immediate, short-term, and long-term needs. Alternatives for individual major capital projects can be analyzed within a decision matrix to evaluate relevant cost and non-cost criteria.

This presentation will help viewers understand the critical components of capital infrastructure planning. Lessons from the individual projects can be applied to both large and small utilities that are faced with developing strategies for infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement under projections of slow- to no-growth in water demand.

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Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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