Lenoir water treatment plant updates
Lenoir water treatment plant updates
Lenoir water treatment plant updates

City of Lenoir, NC

Water Treatment Plant Upgrades

McGill assisted the City of Lenoir with planning, design, bidding, and construction phase services for 2 major upgrades to the 12 MGD water treatment plant on Lake Rhodhiss. Phase 1 upgrades involved the rehabilitation of 4 dual-cell filters, a new chemical storage and feed facility to replace the aged and failing exterior bulk tanks, 600 HP high-service pumps and soft starter replacements, sedimentation basin sludge removal improvements, a laboratory renovation, a new plant-wide SCADA system, and all related piping, valves, electrical, controls, paving, and appurtenances.

Phase 2 upgrades included the new dual-train mechanical pre-treatment system, the addition of filters 5 and 6, a new raw water meter vault and chemical feed relocations, 36-inch piping and valves, alum sludge tank improvements, and all related piping, valves, electrical, controls, SCADA programming, site work, and paving.


The Challenge

The City of Lenoir owns and operates a water treatment plant with a permitted capacity of 12 MGD, serving the majority of Caldwell County. The facility was constructed in the 1950s, with many of the original structures and processes still in service. McGill helped the City replace its original high-service pump station in 2009 and then to secure its raw water source with new intake screens / pipes and an off-shore pump station in 2011.

Through the CIP planning process during the next five years, it was apparent that other treatment processes were vulnerable to failure and some insufficient in capacity. The City of Lenoir needed to secure the long-term viability and reliability of its water system and to produce drinking water up to the rated capacity of 12 MGD.

Further, although the City’s raw water is supplied by Lake Rhodhiss, the settling basins were susceptible to major turbidity spikes from wet weather impacts on the upstream stretch of the Catawba River. Hydraulic limitations also impacted settling performance at higher flow rates.

The Solution

Beginning in 2017, our team initiated the critical, multi-phased water treatment upgrades to restore the reliability and capacity of the plant. McGill helped the City obtain a $6 million Drinking Water SRF loan at zero interest to replace failing equipment and to rehabilitate aging processes. Phase 1 focused on the filtration system, chemical tanks and pumps, and high-service pumps in the 1970s-era high-service pump station.

As a result of those updates, the recently rehabilitated filters were in good shape for the next few decades; however, filtration capacity was still limited. Phase 2 focused on ensuring a firm filtration capacity of 12 MGD by adding filters 5 and 6. McGill also designed a dual-train, high-rate settling system ahead of the conventional process to reduce high amounts of raw water turbidity. This system also enables expansion of the raw water supply without the need for expensive and land-intensive off-stream storage.

The Results

The rehabilitated filters and new chemical feed facility have been extremely important to the reliability of the City’s treatment plant. The high-service pump upgrades restored the pumping redundancy and provided standby power backup during power outages. This project, which had an anticipated cost of $6.5 million, ended with a total project cost under $5.5 million.

The 2 filters added in Phase 2 have provided redundancy and filtration capacity to 12 MGD. With the new mechanical pre-treatment system in service, the plant staff is realizing the benefits of improved raw water quality before water enters the settling basins and filters, particularly during the recent wet weather events. This project ended with a total project cost of $10 million, nearly $2 million under budget.

The two facility improvement projects have made a significant difference in how the City of Lenoir has positioned itself to provide water service to Lenoir and the surrounding area of Caldwell County. These projects have facilitated phased improvements that have allowed us to think ahead and improve the efficiency and the treatment capabilities of the facility. This will allow us to meet the future demands of our community while minimizing the financial impacts to the City and our customers.

  • Radford Thomas
    Public Utilities Director

Lenoir wtp chemical feed

McGill has enjoyed working with the City of Lenoir for many years on projects including its downtown streetscape, greenway, water treatment plant, and many more.

Innovation icon




Mcgill customization icon


Project Services Included:

  • Water treatment
  • Electrical
  • SCADA programming
  • Paving
  • Site design
  • Funding assistance
Let's Start a Conversation

Let's Start a Conversation

Let us know how we can assist you by sending a message in the text box below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.