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Engineering study on Wallingford dam will be rebid

Engineering study on Wallingford dam will be rebid

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — The Water Division will rebid a contract for an engineering study on the Ulbrich Reservior Dam.

The decision to ask for another round of bids came after Water Division officials rejected the winning bidder. Neil Amwake, Water and Sewer Divisions general manager, said officials had concerns.

“Basically, their costs were all sub-consultant costs,” he said. “They included minimal dollars for their own cost. They were trying to win this job so they could market this to other firms.”

The name of the firm was unavailable.

The Water Division went out to bid last year using a two-part bid process and received seven responses, Amwake said.

A two-part bid process uses a composite score of technical qualifications and cost, judged equally, to determine the winning bid rather than the lowest price.

The Town Council approved a request to rebid the study earlier this month. A qualifications-based selection process will be used.

Study details

Ulbrich Reservoir is a 154-acre public drinking water supply, one of four in a water reservoir system managed by the town.

In October 2016, a regulatory inspection of the Ulbrich Reservoir Dam recommended a seepage and slope stability study due to the dam’s high hazard classification. Amwake said the Water Division is also interested in evaluating if they can raise the water surface elevation approximately two to four feet to provide extra storage.

Amwake said there are three aspects to the engineering study. First is a stability and seepage analysis looking at the horizontal and vertical forces on the earthen embankment dam, as well as the water and soil interface within the dam. 

The second aspect is a hydraulic and hydrologic study to determine how much water they can move through the spillway.

The third analysis is a low-level outlet evaluation, which is traditionally at the bottom of the reservoir and allows the removal of water from the bottom of the reservoir to drain it.

Amwake said there’s $75,000 allocated in Water Division’s capital budget for the study.
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