QCBID Evaluates Frenchman Hills Pumping Plant; Replaces Aging Electrical

QCBID Evaluates Frenchman Hills Pumping Plant; Replaces Aging Electrical

By: Roger Sonnichsen, Secretary-Manager, Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District

In the fall of 2019 Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID) contracted with RH2 Engineering, Inc., (RH2) to assist with the evaluation of Pump units No. 1 and No. 2 in the Frenchman Hills Pumping Plant and assist with any design needs.

The Frenchman Hills Pumping Plant was constructed under a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) contract as part of the Columbia Basin Project (CBP). QCBID has operated the pumping plant since 1962. Pumps No. 1 and No. 2 originally were used at South Columbia Basin Irrigation District’s (SCBID) Pasco Pumping Plant before being surplused by Reclamation at Grand Coulee until construction started at Frenchman Hills. The pumping plant has a total of nine pumps. Pumps No. 1 and No. 2 are vertical shaft centrifugal pumps while the other seven pumps are horizontal split case pumps.

The completed evaluation found the Pumps No. 1 and No. 2 impellers appeared to be in overall good condition for their age, as was the suction bell.  After evaluation of the costs, pros and cons of new equipment life expectancy, and condition of exiting equipment and serviceability, QCBID has elected not to replace these units.

However, the electrical system at the pumping plant was determined to have several areas lacking.  RH2 recommended replacing the Pump No. 1 and Pump No. 2 motor starters with new soft-starters containing protection relays.  RH2 has completed 90% Plans and Specifications.  QCBID is on track to finalize the design with RH2 and go out bid over 2021 and see construction early 2022 to be ready for the water season in 2022.

Stay up to date with Project happenings every month.