WTR32 Softening Plant Chemical System Improvements

Project Details:

Project Start Date: 1/1/19

Ongoing Program: N

Submitting Department: Public Works - Water

Contact Person: Li Zhang

Level of Need: Significant

Estimated Project Completion Date: 12/31/24

Department Priority: 7

Contact Phone Number: 612-661-4904


Project Location:

Address: Softening Plant on Fridley Campus

City Sector: City-wide

Affected Neighborhoods: City-wide

Affected Wards: All

Project Description:

This project will replace lime chemical feed equipment (“slakers”) and upgrade and expand on-line lime storage at the Fridley Softening Plant (FSP). This will improve the reliability and effectiveness of lime slaking equipment, reduce operations and maintenance requirements, improve lime feed control, and improve storage and transfer/handling facilities at FSP. Effective and reliable lime softening is the key water treatment process to provide high quality drinking water.

Purpose and Justification:

Currently six lime chemical feeders, or slakers, are in use at the Fridley Softening Plant (FSP). Four are near the end of their serviceable life – maintenance frequency has increased, replacement parts are limited in availability, and and controls are obsolete. These slakers must be replaced with due considerations given to cost effectiveness, chemical feed efficiency, process control needs, redundancy, and maintainability. The existing slakers are supplied from “on-line” storage bins of limited capacity. FSP has a large volume of additional lime storage available but it requires manual transfer to the on-line storage bins. This manual transfer requires extensive use of personal protective equipment and energy – both ‘person power’ and electrical. This project will make the storage improvements necessary whether through alignment to new slakers, installing mechanical means of effective and safe transfer to existing on-line storage, or altogether new storage silos.

Project Visuals and Map:

Chemical Feeder for softening

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request


Have Grants for this Project been secured?


Describe status and timing details of secured or applied for grants or other non-City funding sources:

All funding for this project is planned to come from water enterprise revenue and bond funds.

Describe any collaborative arrangements with outside project partners, including who they are and what their role is with the project:

None planned.


State Law Chapter 462.356 (Subd. 2) requires review of all capital improvements for compliance with the comprehensive municipal plan. Chapter 13, Section 4 of the City Charter requires Location and Design Review for the purpose of approving the sale of bonds for these projects. Describe how the project is consistent with the adopted City/Park Board comprehensive plans and how the project implements goals and policies as stated in the adopted plans, including specific policy references:

The project complies with The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth (the City’s comprehensive plan) through the following specific references:

Public Services and Facilities: Through sound management and strategic investments, Minneapolis will maintain and develop public services and facilities that promote health, safety and an enhanced quality of life for all members of this growing community.

Policy 5.4: Enhance the safety, appearance, and effectiveness of the city’s infrastructure.

5.4.1 Maintain and improve the quality and condition of public streets, sidewalks, bridges, water systems, and other public infrastructure.

5.4.2 Plan for and provide public facilities which anticipate growth needs, use fiscal resources efficiently, and meet realistic timelines.

5.4.3 Prioritize capital improvements according to an objective set of criteria consistent with adopted goals and policies, including those of The Minneapolis Plan.

Environment: Minneapolis will promote sustainable design practices in the preservation, development, and maintenance of its natural and built environments, provide equal access to all of the city’s resources and natural amenities, and support the local and regional economy without compromising the needs of future generations.

Policy 6.9: Be a steward of clean water by protecting and enhancing its surface and groundwater systems.

6.9.1 Continue to invest in maintaining excellent water quality for consumption, and ensure delivery of safe drinking water to customers.

6.9.3 Accomplish the guiding principles of the city’s Local Surface Water Management Plan, which are to protect people, property and the environment; maintain and enhance infrastructure; provide cost-effective services in a sustainable manner; meet or surpass regulatory requirements; educate and engage the public and stakeholders, and enhance livability and safety.

6.9.4 Encourage consumer use of the municipal water supply to reduce reliance on bottled water and the waste stream water bottles generate.

6.9.5 Support pollution prevention programs as an important first step in maintaining a healthy physical environment.

6.9.6 Manage pollutants at the source in order to prevent degradation of water bodies.

6.9.7 Preserve and enhance the strategic placement of pervious surfaces within the city to decrease the rate and volume of storm water runoff.

Provide the date that Location and Design Review was conducted for the project, the outcome of that analysis and the date formal action was taken by the Planning Commission:

Reviews with the Planning Commission will be a future task.

Economic Development

Will the project contribute to growth in the city’s tax base?

No impact on existing tax base.

Describe the economic development impact of the project:

Not applicable.

Does the project support redevelopment opportunity that without the project would be infeasible?

Not applicable.


Is the proposed project on an existing or planned transitway, transit route, or high-volume pedestrian corridor? If yes, provide details on how the project will improve the transit and/or pedestrian experience.

Not applicable.

Does the proposed project anticipate multi-modal enhancements (sidewalks, bicycle or transit facilities)? Provide details.

Not applicable.

Is the right-of-way constrained and do you anticipate that modes of travel will be competing for space? Provide details, is there potential for innovative design options? Provide details

Not applicable.

YOperating Impacts

Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance:

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? Existing

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 25-40 years

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? 2024

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? Decrease TBD

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? Yes

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: $1,200,000

Describe how operating cost increases or decreases were determined and include details such as personnel costs, materials, contracts, energy savings, etc:

Expanded lime storage will enable more deliveries of lime by rail car rather than trucks – reducing unit chemical costs, labor costs to unload, and lowering carbon footprint for delivery. Improvements to slaker equipment, ventilation systems, and space utilization are anticipated to result in more efficient maintenance with a corresponding reduction in labor and materials costs.

If new infrastructure, discuss how the department/agency will pay for the increased annual operating costs:

Not applicable, costs expected to decrease.

For new infrastructure, describe the estimated timing and dollar amount of future capital investment required to realize the full expected useful life of the project:

Not applicable.

Project Coordination

Describe completion status for ongoing projects and how and when the department/agency plans to use the prior year remaining bond authorizations:

2019: RFP for program consultant and preliminary planning (in-depth alternatives assessment and basis of design).

2020 – 2021: Preliminary Design, Detailed Design, Equipment selection and procurement,

2022 – 2024: Detailed design, Continued procurement, Installation and Construction

Prior year remaining bond authorizations will be used in 2021-2022 for equipment procurement.

If this is a new project, describe the major project phases and timing anticipated for completing the project:

Not applicable.

Scalability/Funding Allocation Flexibility – discuss any flexibility to increase or decrease funding among the years in the five-year plan and the most that could be spent in a given year:

Flexibility is available, with phased improvements in the areas of offloading, conveyance, storage and feed systems, as long as critical systems remain operational in parallel with construction.

Minneapolis Goals and Strategic Direction

Minneapolis is a growing and vibrant world-class city with a flourishing economy and a pristine environment, where all people are safe, healthy and have equitable opportunities for success and happiness.Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals. Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Public Safety

Collaborative and community-inclusive strategies to ensure safety for all members of our community:


The City prioritizes equitable access to safe, stable, accessible, and affordable housing to eliminate racial disparities in housing:

Economic Development

The City prioritizes economic inclusion so that all workers and families are supported and People of Color, Indigenous and Immigrant (POCII)-owned businesses in all sectors can thrive.

Public Services

The City prioritizes reliable and equitable access to high-quality public services.

The Softening Plant Chemical Feed improvements project will result in comprehensive long-term improvements to the lime softening chemical feed and storage system. Effective and reliable lime softening is the key water treatment process to continue providing high quality drinking water to all customers.

Environmental Justice:

The City prioritizes sustainable practices and renewable resources to equitably address climate change while restoring and protecting our soil, water and air.

Built Environment & Transportation:

The City prioritizes high quality neighborhoods, streets, infrastructure and equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.

Public Health:

The City Prioritizes positive youth development so that all children can grow healthy and safe:

The Softening Plant Chemical Feed improvements project will result in comprehensive long-term improvements to the lime softening chemical feed and storage system. Effective and reliable lime softening is the key water treatment process to remove organics and minimize disinfection by-products. Young children are particularly susceptible to adverse effects of disinfection by-products.

Arts and Culture:

The City prioritizes arts and culture as important part of inclusive economic development and placemaking in our communities:

Additional Information

Add any additional information you feel is important for the CLIC committee, Mayor, City Council members or the general public to know about this potential project and why it should be approved:

Lime expenses are over $2 Million annually. This program enhances and ensures efficient and effective use of this chemical in lime softening - the key process in our overall drinking water treatment profile.