Capital Improvement Projects for 2021


The Capital Improvement Plan evaluates the operating condition of the organization’s assets, where upgrade improvements can be made, and where opportunities for new projects may exist.

For 2021, Birmingham Water Works has budgeted $81,484,428 for its Capital Improvement Program. Here are the major projects BWW plans to start, continue, or complete as part of the program over the next year:

Raw Water

Consisting of 4 raw water intake systems, 3 raw water boosters, 5 dams, and 20 raw water storage tanks, the raw water system provides adequate storage of treatable water and equalizes demand to meet current and future service demands. Water must be pumped long distances from source of supply to storage/use. The Capital Improvements Plan includes renewal and replacement projects needed to maintain adequate water supplies and storage to meet current water demands.

Lake Purdy Dam Stabilization Project: The goal of the project is to improve the stability of the existing dam, mitigate seepage, and increase the spillway capacity.

Sipsey Pump Station Pump Repair: Repairing and refurbishing the existing vertical turbine pump is needed In order to maintain the operational efficiency of the Sipsey Pump Station and to provide treatable water to our water treatment plants.

Mulberry Raw Water Surge Tanks: This project calls for maintenance and repair of an existing 750,000 raw water tank. By preventing rust and deterioration, the project will improve structural integrity of the tank and increase its lifespan by 20 to 25 years.


The Distribution System consists of 4,000 miles of piping, 1,000 miles of service lines, 48 distribution pump stations, 51 distribution storage tanks, 41 pressure-reducing valve stations, 60,000 valves, 14,000 hydrants, and 20 pressure gradients. Renewal, replacement, and extension of lines as well as water quality projects are needed in order to ensure BWW’s water distribution assets are in good  condition, as well as  enable the utility to meet water demands.  

Inland Lake Pump Station and Transmission Line Improvements Construction Project: This project includes removing and replacing failing main line valves, check valves and blow-off. In addition, the project calls for the installation of new 60-inch main line valves, 60-inch check valves and a 60-inch magnetic flow meter.

Carson Loop Phase 6D: The Carson Loop pipe system delivers drinking water from the Carson Filter Plant to customers in the southern portion of the service area. This phase of the project consists of 3,700 feet of 36-inch buried ductile iron pipe and fittings along from Grand River West to Floyd Bradford Road and Amber Hills Road along with a 600-foot-long pipe bridge over the Cahaba River.

Water Line Replacement Project: BWW will continue replacement of the system's older distribution mains, particularly galvanized steel, due to excessive repairs, water quality, low fire flow, etc.  

Meter Replacement Project: Replacing worn out and inaccurate meters enhances revenue and reduces lost water.

Water Treatment

Maintenance and improvements to our exceptional treatment facilities ensures we are able to produce water quality that exceeds drinking water standards. The Capital Improvements Plan includes renewal and replacement of equipment, membranes, disinfection units and electrical/control components to ensure the water quality provided to our customers exceeds federal and state drinking water standards.  

Shades Mountain Filter Plant (SMFP) Filter Improvements: As part of our overall filter rehabilitation program, BWW has chosen to upgrade the filters at each plant in such a way as to provide the flexibility for installation of granular activated carbon (GAC) in the filters. Consistent with this approach, this project will establish the infrastructure to allow the existing filters to be converted into GAC filter absorbers. GAC treatment will allow the BWW to continue to use free chlorine for secondary disinfection while achieving compliance with Stage 2.

SMFP Residuals: BWW has purchased two 26-inch solids dewatering centrifuges for SMFP. These units will replace the 37-year-old failing plate and frame system currently in place. The centrifuges still require installation as well as demolition of the existing plate and frame. Electrical and piping upgrades and modifications will be required. Additionally, a new dredge will be acquired to guarantee consistent removal of solids from the sedimentation basin to the dewatering equipment. Solids dewatering is critical to regulator operations at SMFP.

Western Filter Plant Liquid Lime: Design and construction of a liquid lime facility to replace the existing dry lime system will result in reduced clogging (and, in turn, limited operation downtime) and decreased operation and maintenance time from mixing powder.