Westfield Department of Public Works seeks bids for water treatment

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The city’s public works and water departments are seeking bids for portions of the treatment of Westfield’s water.

The Westfield Department of Public Works (DPW) has requested bids for both the contracts for “dewatered sludge cake hauling and disposal” and the “bulk water chemicals for the Westfield Water and Waste Water Department treatment plants,” according to the city’s website. The bids are expected to be opened in early March and would impact fiscal year 2018.

Both contracts are important to the city’s water supply, as they are two keys to its treatment, both before and after use.

Regarding the bulk water chemicals contract, whatever company is awarded the bid will be responsible for both providing and delivering the chemicals to Westfield. Francis Cain, assistant director of the DPW, said that the chemicals provided are for both prior to water being introduced into the system and after it is expelled, and includes chlorine—to kill bacteria and other waterborne microbes—and coagulants—a thickener used to remove solid waste from water.

“You need some of it to do the treatment process and then after it’s treated you add some chemicals, mostly chlorine, to treat again,” Cain said.

Other chemicals include corrosion inhibitors, which are used to prevent the piping in homes and elsewhere from corroding, thus leeching chemical contaminants like lead and copper into drinking water. According to Cain, these chemicals are not only approved, but governmental organizations such as the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency also require some of these chemicals in drinking water.

According to Cain, the city has multiple sites where water is chemically treated, including the water treatment plants and some wells. These sites will house the chemicals he said, as they have the approved tank and storage methods for them.

For the sludge cake hauling and disposal contract, the company that is awarded will be responsible for taking the results of the wastewater treatment and hauling it to another location for proper disposal. Westfield wastewater goes through treatment that includes the aforementioned chemical coagulant addition. This addition effectively separates water from solid waste, and the result is what people may know commonly as sludge.

“The sludge is what’s left over after filtering all the water,” Cain said. “It goes through a press and can’t be treated anymore.”

The cost of each bid, according to Cain, could cost the city around $200,000. For the bulk water chemicals contract, all bids must be in by March 1, while the sludge hauling bids must be in by March 8.

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