Water treatment plants and wastewater treatment plants might not be the first things that come to mind when you’re thinking about accurate property valuation data. But if your entity has one or both types of properties to include on its property insurance Statement of Values, you might just want to give that data a closer look.
Over the years, we’ve noticed a common problem with the way wastewater and water treatment plants are listed on SOVs. Often, an entire plant, all its buildings, its property-in-the-open — everything! — is listed as a single line item on that insurance Statement of Values. Now, the value of these properties can range anywhere from $50 million to $100 million or more. So, if one element within that whole treatment plant becomes damaged, how do you accurately estimate replacement costs for a fraction of that total? And with numbers so large, how do you ensure you get accurate coverage for the property that you truly have? It becomes very easy to over- or under-cover these plants.
Here at AssetWorks, when we see a large, single value like that on an SOV, we recommend getting our valuation experts involved for an on-site visit, to value the treatment plant and break that property down into its key elements. This helps ensure a more thorough, specific and accurate valuation for that property.
So, what sort of data do you typically need to include for a wastewater or water treatment plant on your SOV?
You’ll want to check with your insurance company for a complete listing of data they require. But generally, for any structures, the date of construction is important. And for your equipment, you’ll want the construction date, as well as the manufacturer, model, and serial number. These points will apply to all structures and equipment within both your water and wastewater treatment plants.
But let’s talk about the more specific data for each…
Property Insurance Data for Wastewater Treatment Plants
In addition to the standard ISO classification data and primary and secondary COPE details that are necessary to gather for buildings (you can learn more about those here), when you’re including information for a wastewater treatment plant, your SOV should also contain more specialized data for the following facility structures:
- Influent pump stations (headworks): These stations pump wastewater into equalization tanks. Here, it’s important to gather equipment details about the control panel, telemetry, and pumps, as well as measure the depth and diameter of the wet well, and the size of the pipes and valves. You’ll want to note the size and depth of any influent screens and detail any hoists or motor control centers (MCC).
- Equalization tanks: These tanks equalize wastewater flow processes to maintain a consistent loading rate. For these, you’ll want their size, depth and capacity information.
- Primary clarifiers: This is where primary settled material is pumped into to the solids process and any fluid travels to the liquid process. You’ll generally need to note the diameter, depth and capacity of the clarifiers.
- Anaerobic and anoxic basins: This is a preparatory treatment area in which beneficial microorganisms are grown. Here it’s important to collect the depth, dimensions, and volume of the basins, and note the equipment details of any control panels and blowers, as well as the blowers’ horsepower.
- Flow splitters: This section distributes the flow of wastewater proportionally. Collect equipment information on any gates, as well as the dimensions of the facility and its depth.
- Aeration basins: Here, microorganisms use oxygen to remove organic waste and nutrients from the wastewater. Capture data on the area’s square footage, depth and capacity. You’ll also want to note any mixers and their horsepower, and the equipment details for any control panels and telemetry.
- Secondary clarifiers: In this part of the plant, treated solids are separated and sent either to a digester or recycled and put through an aeration process. The remaining water is sent to filtration. The depth and diameter of the clarifiers become the key data to collect here.
- Chlorine contact chambers: These basins detain wastewater so that it comes in contact with chlorine. Collect the depth and dimensions of the chambers, as well as all pipe diameters and the equipment details of any pumps and air release valves.
- Digesters (floating and fixed covers): This system processes and treats biodegradable waste and sewage sludge. In addition to gathering the equipment information on all digesters, you’ll want to collect the depth and diameter of the digesters, note whether they’re floating or fixed covers, the quantity of digester tanks, and the diameter and horsepower (CFM capacity) of the digesters and of the blowers.
- Belt press thickener/dewatering buildings: These facilities use gravity and polymer to separate solids and water. Here, you will want to note the square footage and any floor levels of the building, as well as any canopies and their square footage, and cranes and their weight. Other things to include are the equipment information of any belt presses or centrifuges, the number of air compressors and pumps with their horsepower, any blowers and their horsepower, equipment details on control panels, the motor control compressor and its size, and any variable frequency drives (VFDs), polymer feeds and/or grit classifiers.
- Sludge drying beds: In this section of the plant, digested sludge is spread on open beds of sand for drying, evaporation, and draining. Here, you should measure the square footage of any beds.
- UV disinfection stations: This part of the facility is where UV light from a lamp disinfects microorganisms from the water. You’ll want to collect the square footage of the disinfection pavilion, any cranes and their weight, the diameter of all pipes, the quantity and horsepower of all pumps, the number of air release valves (ARVs), the number of ballasts, sleeves and sensors, the quantity of bulbs and their depth, and the number of UV banks.
Property Insurance Data for Water Treatment Plants
Water treatment plants are designed to process and improve water quality for uses such as drinking, the industrial water supply, irrigation, etc. Each involves many different facilities for proper processing, typically including: a reservoir, an intake station, chlorine injection units, a stabilization tank, a polyaluminum chloride (PAC) coagulant, a flash mixer, a flocculation tank, a sedimentation tank, filters, pumps, a clear well, and a storage tank. As with wastewater treatment plants, you’ll want to include standard primary and secondary COPE details, and ISO classification information for any buildings associated with your water treatment plant. But there is also common water treatment plant data that’s useful to collect for your insurance SOV, and that includes information on the following structures:
- Pump/booster station (intake structure): The pump/booster station is used to push raw water through the sewer system and toward the water treatment plant. Note the make and model of any control panels, the quantity and horsepower of pumps, equipment information for SCADA/telemetry, the diameter of the motor control center, whether or not there’s a flow meter, the presence of any emergency generators and their power (KW), and the dimensions and depth of the clear well.
- Well: This is the well where water is drawn to be processed. Note the make and model and other equipment details of the control panel and any SCADA/telemetry. Document the casing size and depth, the drill depth, the quantity, the horsepower and type of pumps, the diameter of the pipes, the quantity and type of air release valves (ARVs), as well as the data for any actuated valves.
- Elevated storage tank: This section of the water treatment plant pressurizes water for distribution, driven by gravity. Document the tank’s capacity in gallons and its construction materials, its dimensions including height to the bottom of the tank, and the equipment information of any related SCADA/telemetry.
- Ground storage tank: These tanks help store large quantities of water for peak-day demand. Document whether the tank is below or above ground, the tank’s capacity and construction materials, and the equipment details of any related SCADA/telemetry.
- Flocculation/sedimentation basins: Flocculants are added to water to cause dirt and other particles to stick together. These particles then settle to the bottom of the sedimentation tank. When gathering data for flocculation/sedimentation basins, you’ll want to collect the dimensions and quantity of the flocculators, the dimensions, depth and quantity of the flocculation and sedimentation basins, the dimensions and depth of both the control vault and rapid mix chamber, the number of pumps and their horsepower, the equipment details for the SCADA/telemetry and control panels, and the system’s overall capacity.
- Filtration: This part of the process removes small particles using layers of sand, gravel, and charcoal. Document the square footage of the facility and its depth, the size and type of motor control center (MCC), list any hoists and their size, detail the quantity and horsepower of the blowers, the size of the PLC, the dimensions of the pipe gallery, and the quantity, dimensions and depth of the filters.
One Line on Your SOV is Simply Not Enough!
As you can see, there are many varied structures and elements that comprise a functional wastewater or water treatment plant—any of which can be subject to a risk event at any time. By breaking these features into smaller, structure-centered groups of detailed property data and valuing them individually, your organization increases your SOV’s accuracy and helps insurers view your submission with greater credibility. You avoid worst case scenario rates because your data is complete, and all of this affects the accuracy of your rates and the thoroughness of your coverage. Our valuation associates at AssetWorks specialize in gathering the data organizations need for wastewater and water treatment plants, so if the quality and level of detail of this material feel daunting, we’re more than happy to do the documentation and valuation for you. Click here to learn more about our trusted property insurance appraisal services.