Lynden water treatment plant construction to start by early June

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 3, 2013 

8 Lynden Water Plant

James Jones, an electrician at the Lynden water treatment plant, works on a potable water pipe Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 7, 2011, that had cracked. "The pipe was getting brittle due to its age," Jones said. The water plant was built in two sections, one in the 1920s and the other in the 1950s. A new plant is estimated to cost about $27 million with construction beginning in summer 2012.

COLIN DILTZ — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

LYNDEN - Construction of the city's new water treatment plant is expected to begin by early June and be completed and operating by summer 2015.

The City Council on Monday, April 29, awarded the construction contract to Ferndale-based Imco General Construction, which was the low bidder at $26.9 million, including sales tax.

A total of nine firms submitted bids, Public Works Director Steve Banham said.

The new treatment plant will replace and double the capacity of the current one, which is more than 80 years old, though it has been upgraded a number of times.

"It's a life cycle replacement of an asset that's really run its course," Banham said.

The new plant will be built off South Sixth Street, south of downtown Lynden, and adjacent to the existing plant.

Funding for the project will come from two low-interest loans through the state and $6 million in grant and loan money through the county's Economic Development Investment program.

EDI money is sales tax dollars the state would otherwise keep but rebates to the county.

Lynden also will raise water rates 7 percent annually for several years to pay back the loans.

For example, in the first year the monthly water bill will increase by about $2.37 for the average residential customer, Banham said.

The Nooksack River is the drinking water source for the city.

The new plant will use newer ultraviolet light technology as the primary disinfectant for the water vs. the current use of chlorine, according to Banham.

Reach Kie Relyea at kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or 360-715-2234.

Reach KIE RELYEA at kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2234.

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