Flint, Mich. — The City of Flint, Mich., selected Arcadis to prepare a Water Distribution System Optimization Plan under a contract worth approximately $800,000. The plan is intended to guide improvements for the distributed water quality, sustainability and long-term operation of the city’s aging water system.

A 2014 change in water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River resulted in increased levels of lead and other water quality issues in the city’s tap water. While the city has made great strides to restore water quality, it recognizes that a long-term optimization strategy is needed to resolve lingering issues and ensure reliable operation of the city’s water system. By enlisting corrosion control and distribution system optimization experts from the Arcadis team, the city intends to increase the reliability of its water system and to improve the safety of its public water supply for the 100,000 residents of Flint. These efforts can help the city attract new residents and businesses while strengthening the city’s competitiveness for a sustainable future.

As the prime consultant for preparing the optimization plan, Arcadis will be responsible for identifying short and long-term operational strategies, standard operating procedures, rehabilitation needs and capital improvements to ensure the future reliability of the city’s water system.

“Like much of the U.S., Flint’s system is not optimally sized, and its rehabilitation is underfunded. The Arcadis team brings perspective, lessons learned and solutions from our experience helping others meet these same challenges in developing a distribution system optimization plan,” said Chris Hill, Arcadis vice president and water supply and treatment expert. “We are looking forward to leveraging our experience gained from assisting dozens of water utilities around the nation, including in states such as Arizona, Indiana, Ohio and Texas, to help cities like Flint address their current infrastructure and water quality challenges.”

The Arcadis team includes Confluence Engineering Group and Cornwell Engineering, recognized leaders in distribution system optimization and corrosion control treatment, who will assist in developing long-term water quality maintenance and corrosion strategies that will help the city avoid future water quality issues. The team also includes McConnell Communications who will organize community meetings to keep citizens updated on the project as well as to provide the city with communications strategies for future water-related events.

Arcadis is expected to submit the recommended plan to the city in May 2017. This comprehensive plan is expected to guide the city in resolving short-term water quality and operating challenges, develop a long-term strategy to proactively increase system reliability, improve water quality and protect public health, and enhance quality of life for its 100,000 residents.