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Freehold Borough hires firm to design new water treatment plant

FREEHOLD – A $440,000 contract has been awarded to an engineering firm by the Borough Council for the design of a new water treatment plant for Freehold Borough.

On June 4, council members hired Mott MacDonald to design a new water treatment plant. In addition to the design of the new plant, the firm’s professional engineering services will also include all requisite permitting and bidding, according to a resolution.

The authorization of the contract with the engineering firm followed a financial analysis and review of the existing water treatment plant that was presented to municipal officials and members of the public during a special meeting earlier this year.

The cost of building a new water treatment plant has been estimated at $4.4 million, according to borough officials, who have been discussing the possibility since 2016, when Mott MacDonald conducted an analysis of the existing water treatment plant on Waterworks Road.

According to the resolution, the existing water treatment plant provides iron removal, disinfection and fluoridation treatment. The facility produces an average of 1.36 million gallons per day (MGD), with a maximum day demand of 2.69 MGD and a total rated capacity of 3.31 MGD.

Borough officials were told that although the plant is maintained and operational with no major service disruptions, its primary equipment is approaching the end of its useful life. The plant was constructed in 1949 and most recently upgraded in 1977.

A recommendation was made and eventually accepted by the council to build a new water treatment plant on the borough’s well field across Waterworks Road from the existing plant.

Prior to authorizing the engineering services contract, officials have developed a GPS mapping system that identifies all known pipes, valves and connections, purchased an emergency generator, and provided funding for the development of an asset management program that is required by the state, according to the resolution.

The authorization of the engineering services follows the council’s adoption of a $500,000 bond ordinance in March for initial funding for the design and and construction of the new water treatment plant. Officials indicated they will pursue low cost funding opportunities with the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for design and construction costs.

The estimated timeline of the project is 30 months, according to the resolution.

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