The new Kline’s Island substation, above, includes provisions for additional power demands in the future.
It’s National Infrastructure Week — a time to #BuildForTomorrow and “highlight the state of our nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, telecoms, and more.”
We usually think of water infrastructure as the water mains, pipes, pumps and tanks that are involved in water and wastewater treatment. And while that’s certainly accurate, modern treatment processes wouldn’t be possible without electricity — a lot of electricity.
To that end, we’re almost finished with a project to update an electrical substation that supplies half of the power for the Kline’s Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. The existing electrical substation — which we call Substation 2 — was four decades old, and the work required a full-blown removal of the old equipment and installation of all new equipment.
The project began in 2016, with a study to determine the current and future power needs for Kline’s Island. Like its predecessor, the new substation is designed to run about half of the wastewater treatment plant. It includes motor control centers and giant electrical panels that control the pumping station and odor control operations, and provides more reliability during high demand.
The substation takes the incoming power — 12.47 kilovolts (a kilovolt, or kV, is equal to 1,000 volts) — and steps it down (reduces it). The result is 480 volts distributed among eight motor control units used for the intermediate pumping station, sludge pumping station, chlorine addition, effluent removal and odor control stations.
A temporary substation had to be built to bridge the gap between the old and new unit. The total project cost is about $2.8 million, and it’s about 95% complete. We expect to wrap it up by this summer.
Like other water authorities across the nation, LCA is hard at work replacing aging infrastructure to improve our ability to provide reliable, high-quality water and sewer services to our customers.