Supplying A Florida City's Rapid Growth
Boynton Beach is one of the largest cities in Palm Beach County, known for its tropical lifestyle, waterfront amenities, dedication to the arts and high quality of life. Consequently, the city is growing rapidly, and demands on its water system are keeping pace. From a current population of 113,000 water customers, Boynton Beach expects to grow to upwards of 140,000 customers by 2035. With much of that growth occurring along the waterfront, coastal aquifers are unable to provide the needed water supply without risking saltwater intrusion. As a result, innovative water system upgrades were required to help the city continue to thrive.
With significant water supplies located on the western side of the city, Boynton Beach had the water it needed, but it needed to move that water from inland to the waterfront, treat it, and combine it with the water from the coastal aquifers. Boynton Beach partnered with CDM Smith to design-build the solution, in the form of the Ion Exchange Resin Plant, using the state-of-the-art MIEX® pretreatment system to help with odor removal and reduce chemical costs.
“The water from each wellfield had different characteristics, so this system allowed us to treat the groundwater from the western side and combine it with the eastern side water supplies to create high-quality potable water,” says CDM Smith principal Suzanne Mechler, PE, BCEE. “Along the way, we improved many of the components of the facility, including replacing all the filter valves and high-service pumps, adding energy-efficiency improvements, implementing over $750,000 of instrumentation and control upgrades, and building a repump station and a ground storage tank to support distribution pressure. In addition, the city actively developed a communications plan to promote public participation in the project. The key was making sure that this facility would last and serve the community for decades to come.”
This was a great project to do with progressive design-build. That's why we got such a good product at the end of the project, because we were a team throughout.
“This was a great project to do with progressive design-build,” says Boynton Beach assistant city manager Colin Groff. “We pulled the best brains in, and as we were talking about the best way to build it, we were also coordinating costs. So we were able to make decisions very quickly based on real numbers and real costs, and still have complete control over what we built. And it was exciting! That’s why we got such a good product at the end of the project, because we were a team throughout.”
Using progressive design-build brought the project in significant savings under its initial budget, which allowed for enhancements such as LED lighting for the city’s iconic water tower, a public art installation, and a medical clinic for Boynton Beach city employees. The project also earned the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision® Bronze award for its environmentally sensitive and sustainable elements.
With the Ion Exchange Resin Plant now operating, Boynton Beach has the water supplies it needs to thrive. “If you don’t have your basic infrastructure in place, you cannot grow,” says Groff. “And this project guarantees our citizens and the customers a reliable source of water, so that in their lifespan, in their kids’ lifespan, they don’t have to worry. It’s important to us as utility executives to give that confidence to our customers.”
The key was making sure that this facility would last and serve the community for decades to come.