The city is now up to its full complement of pumps at the San Felipe Springs, city officials said.

Members of the Del Rio City Council, during their May 12 meeting, approved an ordinance authorizing a change order to the installation of new raw water pumps at the San Felipe Water Treatment Plant.

The city draws all of the drinking water for its citizens as well as for the residents of Laughlin Air Force Base from the two largest of the San Felipe Springs, sited on the grounds of the city golf course.

The two springs are called the East Spring and the West Spring. Water from the springs is pumped to the city’s water treatment plant, where it is filtered and disinfected, before it goes into the distribution lines that serve Del Rio and Laughlin households.

In a memo to Del Rio City Council members outlining the background of the change order, City Utilities Director Matt Evans noted, “Raw water from the East and West San Felipe Springs pump stations passes through a pair of 200-micron, automatic back-washing pre-filters to remove any sand and grit present in the plant influent (water coming in). The pre-filtered water is distributed to 14 primary and two secondary membrane racks sized to handle an incoming flow of 18.2 million gallons per day (MGD).”

Evans said in July 2019, the city council authorized staff to go out for competitive sealed proposals for new raw water pumps at the San Felipe Springs pump stations.

“Staff reviewed all submitted proposals and presented city council with (a proposal from) All American Pump Solutions Inc. for approval and authorization,” Evans wrote.

The original contract amount was $489,500.

“All American Pump Solutions Inc. began work on construction of the pumps and completed their portion of the installation on April 23, 2020,” Evans said.

The change order approved by the council on May 12 will add one more raw water pump to the initial order placed by the city.

Evans told the council, “This change order comes after the recent failure of one of the East Springs pumping station raw water pumps. Project budget provides an opportunity for the purchase of a new pump rather than repair of the damaged pump.”

“Especially during the summer, it is important that all pumps and motors are present and function as efficiently as possible, as the loss of a pump or motor without proper backup can lead to partial or complete loss in the ability to produce water at the water treatment plant. Additionally, having a motor or pump malfunction creates new load on the surrounding pumps and motors, potentially causing further damage,” Evans wrote.

The cost of the change order was $122,375, bringing the revised contract amount with All American to a total of $611,875.

“In my opinion, and what we should do, due to how we collect water, is have more pumps than we need, so my plan with this change order in particular, was to get a brand-new pump and have a pump that can be repaired very quickly,” Evans said in an interview after the meeting.

Once the failed pump is repaired, he added, “And then we’ll have a pump ready to go in the event we need it.”

Evans said the city uses three raw water pumps at the East Spring and three at the West Spring. He said the city now has a full complement of six raw water pumps.

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