CAGC Recognizes Best Utility Project: Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant


The Carolinas AGC bestowed the 2010 Best Utility Project Pinnacle Award on the Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant.  The Garner (NC) project by Archer Western Contractors, involved construction of a new 20 million-gallons-per-day water treatment plant, a 5 million-gallons-per-day water storage reservoir and water pumping station, a backwash storage tank, and standby generator facilities. This state-of-the-art facility features some of the most advanced process equipment systems in the water treatment industry. The project also required the complete renovation of an existing raw water pump station built in the 1950’s, and modifications to an existing gate control structure.

Archer Western, working with the design engineer, executed a teamwork approach from the project’s inception. They successfully negotiated the original bid cost from $105 million to $90 million – enabling the City of Raleigh to maintain its desired bond rates. This teamwork approach paid off again when, two years into construction, new LEED Certification requirements entered the picture. Again, the owner benefited greatly when Archer Western met this challenge, keeping the project in compliance with new citywide sustainability initiatives. The process design itself delivers superior water quality, beginning with adding ozone to the raw water. A unique combination of technologies involves a two-stage filtration process in combination with a triple disinfection strategy, providing a framework for other facilities to follow. The Dempsey Benton plant is only the second facility to use ultraviolet disinfection for drinking water. Low pressure/high intensity UV light kills certain pathogens that are resistant to chlorine.

Construction challenges included major code differences between the time the project was designed and when the final certificate of occupancy and building inspections were performed. In addition, the plant’s standing seam metal roof system features multiple complex curvatures and intersections.

“From our standpoint, fabricating the trusses that create the dramatic roof lines was the high point of our work on the project,” said Robert Arch, P.E., J.R. Hoe and Sons, Middlesboro, KY. “The complex project was a rewarding challenge for both our production and engineering teams.”

The buildings are faced with metal wall panels, decorative architectural  stone, translucent wall panels and glass storefront, combining to form a unique and beautiful facility – a comment not often heard about water treatment plants.

The Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant project was recognized for safety by NC Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry for two years running. Archer Western performed 524,000 man-hours on this project without a single lost time incident, and brought the project in seven million dollars under budget and on schedule. Charlotte-based Heyward, Inc. collaborated with ARCADIS on the project from inception to pilot to design and construction. “The thought process and advanced technology that went into this plant make it a facility for today and the future,” said Heyward’s Municipal Sales Engineer Tim Bishop. “With a combination of ozone, GAC, and UV disinfection, this plant will handle anything that comes to it and will produce high quality water for years to come,” Bishop added. Read More.


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