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The original item was published from 9/7/2017 3:33:00 PM to 8/25/2018 12:00:05 AM.

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Water Management

Posted on: August 24, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Williams WTP Reservoir Apron Replacement Underway

For Immediate Release: August 24, 2017

Construction Equipment Arriving At Williams Water Treatment Plant

Planning, Preparation Underway for Terminal Reservoir Project at Facility

DURHAM, N.C. — Some of the first signs of an upcoming project at Williams Water Treatment Plant (WTP) are clearly visible at the historic facility on Hillandale Road. A mobile crane and other heavy equipment arrive this week as workers make preparations to replace the concrete apron surrounding the plant’s terminal reservoir. The apron is a concrete slab that extends down the side slopes of the reservoir to protect them from erosion.

Set to begin at the end of September, the planned project will take Williams WTP offline for approximately six months. Before demolition and construction can begin, the 45-million-gallon reservoir must first be drained, a process that should take about three days. According to civil engineers with the City of Durham Department of Water Management, this is the first time in the plant’s 100-year history that the reservoir floor will be seen since it was first filled with raw water from Lake Michie. The inner wrought iron fence surrounding the reservoir will be carefully removed in the coming days to allow access to the worksite. Due to Williams’ historic status it will be repaired and reinstalled in accordance with Durham Historic Preservation Commission criteria. The apron project coincides with other ongoing plant upgrade projects, which include a new residuals handling process and additional facility improvements. A commercial generator is being installed on-site to serve as a backup power source while work proceeds.

During the project, the City’s Brown WTP – which is newer and provides greater capacity and treatment capabilities – will remain fully operational to meet customer demand. As an added safeguard, Water Management will source additional water as needed from interconnected Triangle partners such as the Town of Cary, OWASA, and others. This practice of sharing supplemental water supplies is commonly employed for both planned and emergency situations.

For the demolition stage of the project, scheduled working hours are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Construction work hours are scheduled for 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 Monday through Sunday. Currently, there are no plans for holiday work. Contractors for this apron project are Schnabel Engineering in Greensboro, and Thalle Construction Company in Hillsborough. For more information, contact Water Management Project Manager Bob Gasper at (919) 560-4381 ext. 35283 or [email protected]. General information about Water Management projects is available at

About the Department of Water Management

The Department of Water Management is responsible for the operation and maintenance of Durham's water supply, water treatment and water reclamation (wastewater treatment) facilities, the collection and distribution systems (including meter reading), and customer billing services. The department has a wide variety of support divisions and programs to maintain the existing infrastructure that provide these integral services, and strives to be a responsible steward of the City’s physical assets. For information, visit, like Durham Saves Water on Facebook, and follow @DurhamWater on Twitter.

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