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Water Treatment Plant Pretreatment

Project Overview: EW-0180

This project examines the raw water supply system and assesses the condition of and considers improvements to critical raw water supply infrastructure assets including the gate house, tunnel, screen house, industrial and water treatment plant pipelines, and chlorination facilities.

In 2011, a filter-clogging evaluation was completed. The report noted that even completely protected and secured water sources require some level of pretreatment. A pretreatment system was recommended as a basic element of the water treatment plant. Specifically, a dissolved air flotation (DAF) pretreatment system was recommended as the best and most sustainable solution to manage treatment of raw water from Lake Whatcom.

The project has three phases - Phase 1 was site analysis and condition assessment of current infrastructure (completed in October 2014), Phase 2 was the design and specifications for selected project elements (begun spring 2015), and Phase 3, construction, scheduled to begin in 2016.

The DAF pretreatment system will complement the existing long-term strategy for watershed protection. While the use of DAF pretreatment is on the leading edge of treatment technology and is used throughout Europe and the United States, Bellingham's DAF  project will be one of first applications in Washington State.

The project is on schedule and budget. Currently project staff are investigating an alternative water source coming from Bloedel Donovan Park referred to as the Larson Mill Connection. This will allow removal of the screen house for repairs in the next phase of the project. Staff are also looking at modifications to the chlorine facilities and adding a powered activated carbon (PAC) to the treatment process for taste and odor concerns coming from Lake Whatcom.

For the final phase, staff developed an application to pursue a $12 million Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan.


Accomplishments:  Construction underway, Industrial pipe connection complete.  All concrete poured.  Hypochlorite switchover complete.

Next Milestones:   Raw water system intertie.  Install permanent sodium hypo system.  Internal piping.  

Monthly Message:  Includes images, recent accomplishments, work that is pending

Supporting Documents

Project Details

  • Status - Construction
  • Contract Awarded - August, 2016
  • Contract Amount -  $11,375,658.56
  • Contractor - Stellar J. Corporation
  • Completion Date:  May, 2018
  • Final Contract Amount:

Affected Neighborhoods


Participating Departments

    Public Works


Freeman Anthony, P.E.
Phone:  (360) 778-7700
Public Works Contacts