Ice and snow sit on top of a storage basin’s collapsed roof at the city of Everett’s water filtration plant near Monroe after the damage occured in February. (Olivia Vanni / Herald File)

Ice and snow sit on top of a storage basin’s collapsed roof at the city of Everett’s water filtration plant near Monroe after the damage occured in February. (Olivia Vanni / Herald File)

Everett will replace damaged roof at water filtration plant

What caused the less-than-year-old roof to collapse after record snowfall remains unclear.

EVERETT — As Everett continues to investigate what caused a less-than-year-old roof to collapse at a water filtration plant in February, the city is moving forward with its replacement.

The damage, which came after a series of winter storms brought record snowfall, was discovered during a routine check of the plant. The facility sits at the southern end of Lake Chaplain, northeast of Monroe.

The new roof is estimated to cost $4 million, according to Kathleen Baxter, a spokesperson for Everett’s Public Works Department.

The investigation is expected to take at least another three months, she said. The loss is being covered by the city’s property insurance.

After treatment, water is sent to one of two large storage basins known as clear wells. It was the roof of the east clear well that collapsed.

The structure, built in 1983, can hold 5.2 million gallons. In August 2018, the 35-year-old roof was replaced by contractor T. Bailey, Inc. The Anacortes firm designed and built the project for $3.1 million.

“The city continues to coordinate with the contractor, T. Bailey, and the city’s insurers to determine what led to the east clear well roof collapse,” Baxter said.

After the damage was discovered during a routine check, the two storage basins were disconnected from each other. The east clear well was removed from service, taking about half of the water filtration plant’s storage capacity offline. There was no damage to the west clear well. It can hold 6.75 million gallons.

Testing done at the time showed the water remained safe to drink.

There have been no impacts to customers, Baxter said.

“The remaining west clear well is adequate for the needs of Everett’s customers even during peak demand,” she said. “This is the reason we have two clear wells, for redundancy in case something should happen to one of them.”

The water filtration plant provides drinking water for approximately 75% of businesses and residents in Snohomish County. The facility produces an average of 50 million gallons of drinking water per day and can treat up to 141 million gallons each day, according to the city.

“A new clear well roof is needed as soon as possible to restore redundancy to the system’s storage capacity,” Baxter said.

In October, the city will start the bidding process for the replacement project.

The city expects construction to begin before the summer of 2020.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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