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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Public Works to build new 4 million gallon water tank

The city of Davis is currently constructing a four-million gallon water tank in East Davis.

The above ground concrete tank, or the East Area Tank (EAT), will be located at 44085 County Rd. 32A. It will be visible from several transportation routes, including I-80, Mace Boulevard, Amtrak and Park and Ride.

The concrete reservoir will be filled with system water at night, which will be used during the day as the system dictates, serving as a buffer, said Michael Mitchell, Davis’ senior civil engineer.

“The EAT will maintain good system pressure during peak demands,” Mitchell said.

Construction began in summer 2009 and is scheduled for completion in November 2010.

The EAT has internal columns and a flat roof, similar to the West Area Tank, constructed in 2004, located north of Sutter Hospital. Gateway Pacific Contractors, Inc., constructed the EAT and the West Area Tank.

The Davis City Council passed a resolution approving an amendment to the consultant contract with West Yost Associates (WYA), an engineer consulting firm, for additional services that were required for design and construction engineering for the EAT. The services listed in the amendment, passed at the Jan. 12 City Council meeting, will cost $97,510. Three council members approved the vote and two dissented.

During the year-long design phase of the EAT, WYA encountered several obstacles that required additional work and funding. WYA had to perform 15 distinct tasks that were not originally accounted for, totaling $97,000 in change, Mitchell said at the meeting.

West Yost Associates updated their water distribution model in order to determine what the effect of pumping the West Area Tank and the EAT at full capacity would have on system pressure, Mitchell said at the meeting. This process of routing and the sizing the lines so the tank can produce at full capacity without upsetting system pressure was a $20,000 effort.

The original contract amount of $800,000 allocated $600,000 for design expenses and $200,000 for construction services. Design services, which ended in July 2009, included the civil, mechanical, electrical and structural components of the tank and facility. Current construction services include reviewing submittals from contractors, attending progress meetings and rectifying technical issues that arise in the field.

With eight or nine months remaining in the construction process of the water tank, Mitchell predicts the entire $200,000 allocated towards construction will be spent. Therefore, there will not be any money left to cover the additional $97,000 for the 15 tasks. Mitchell and Robert Clarke, interim public works director and city engineer asked for an amendment to the agreement.

Councilmember Stephen Souza questioned if the 14.5 percent of the contract spent on design and construction engineering is a typical portion for construction projects.

The complexity of the EAT project demands a high level of professional support, Clarke said at the meeting.

“We think the percentage is reasonable for the project,” Clarke said at the meeting.

Because the EAT was built on a small site bordered by high pressure gas lines with poor soil conditions, the project required a lot of special attention that may have added to the increased cost, Mitchell said.

Councilmember Sue Greenwald said at the meeting it will be difficult fiscally to complete a surface water project, rebuild a wastewater treatment plant and rebuild groundwater capacity during the same period of time. Greenwald said she voted against the project because she wanted to first establish a plan to pay for the three projects.

“Fiscal counts too, and it’s in the stratosphere,” she said. “It can’t be supported by so many of our taxpayers, in particular seniors on fixed incomes.”

At last Tuesday’s meeting, the Council made a decision regarding the EAT’s aesthetics. The council voted unanimously to pursue the possibility of implementing a mural with the city of Davis theme displayed on the tank. Council members decided not to use the design options presented by public works but will explore more options.

Since the EAT is visible from several transportation hubs, it should advertise Davis, Greenwald said.

THERESA MONGELLUZZO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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