With initial upgrades to the Pyramid Peak Water Treatment Plant complete, a second phase of construction is now underway.
The full project includes more than $52.5 million to expand the facility, paid for by the city of Peoria; and approximately $25 million in improvements shared with the city of Glendale.
Work is tentatively estimated to take another two years, with an estimated completion of summer 2021.
The plant, which is located off Pyramid Peak Parkway, east of Peoria’s East Wing Mountain Preserve, is jointly owned by the two West Valley cities.
While originally commissioned in 1986, according to Cape Powers, Peoria’s water services director, his city came into 23% ownership 10 years later. Glendale, which maintains a 77% stake in the facility, operates it.
The facility serves the northern portion of Glendale as well as Peoria’s Vistancia community and other parts of north Peoria.
“This plant treats Colorado River water from the Central Arizona Project canal, and then the rest of the city can take Salt River Project water,” explained Ron Serio, Glendale’s deputy water services director.
“Salt River Project water is restricted for use on Salt River Project-covered areas, and areas outside of that you can’t use Salt River Project water. So, this plant and this source of water fills that need; it gives us the ability to serve those other areas with a different source of water.”
The ongoing construction project has two components, Serio said. First are improvements to the existing plant, costs of which are shared between the two cities. Beyond that, the facility will be expanded to increase treatment capacity, though the expanded portion will exclusively serve and be paid for by the city of Peoria.
Currently rated to treat 48 million gallons of water per day (MGD) but operating on a reliable capacity of 39 MGD, the expansion will increase the facility to a capacity of 54 MGD.
According to Serio, during the first phase pumps and parts of the disinfection system were replaced. During the current second phase, the facility’s chiller, which he said provides cool air; electrical gear; and chemical feed pumps will be updated.
And according to Glendale information, phase two will also include construction of new lagoons, a recovery basin and treatment train.
Improvements were deemed necessary, per a periodic assessment of the plant’s workability, Serio said.
“We went and assessed that plant and identified a bunch of things that needed to be repaired or rehabilitated,” Serio elaborated. “The reason that we do that is because we can’t afford to have our water plants go out of service. So, by proactively fixing things right before they break, we’re reducing our risk of the plant shutting down and not having the ability to serve our customers. So we’re trying to be as resilient as we possibly can.”
Powers added of the expansion: “As growth continues in Peoria, staff recognized the need to work with the city of Glendale to expand the PPWTP to meet new demands. This water is part of Peoria’s CAP allocation and will be moved through the system primarily into the Vistancia area, as well as other parts of north Peoria. This will allow for increased growth and water system redundancy.”
While work is mainly slated during daytime hours on weekdays, and will take place within the plant’s property or public right-of-way, drivers may notice increased truck traffic on Pyramid Peak Parkway during mass excavation activities and concrete placement; early morning or night work activities, as needed, during concrete placement based on daytime temperatures; and light equipment during any scheduled night work.