Modesto water plant repairs studied

Leaky gutters and downspouts, as well as some pesky woodpeckers and mud swallows, could end up costing the Modesto Irrigation District and city of Modesto nearly $6 million.

Members of the MID board of directors agreed Tuesday to hire Allana Buick & Bers to develop a repair plan for buildings at the Modesto Regional Surface Water Treatment and Terminal Reservoir and Pump Station.

Allana Buick & Bers, with of-fices in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, San Diego, Honolulu and Las Vegas, is an architectural firm specializing in roofing, waterproofing and building design.

The Modesto City Council unanimously approved the proposed $733,700 contract Tuesday night.

Problems cropped up in 2004, when MID workers discovered and removed black mold in the administration building at the water treatment plant.

In late 2006, according to MID project manager Greg Dias, the utility became aware of more extensive water intrusion problems from the roof and building drainage systems.

Woodpecker, swallow ravages

Some buildings at the water treatment plant and pump station also have been damaged by woodpeckers and nesting mud swallows.

Woodpeckers repeatedly have poked holes in the "skin" covering the buildings, while swallows have been building nests in the eaves of some buildings.

The prefabricated material, known as the Exterior Insulation Finish System, consists of wire mesh infused with plaster and a foam backing to create an illusion of stone or stucco.

Most of the water damage to the half-dozen buildings, how-ever, has resulted from leaky gutters and downspouts that had been concealed within the facade of some of the buildings.

Construction costs are estimated at $4.8 million to $5.9 million, and MID officials say the repairs will take at least 16 months.

Under a proposed MID timetable, the design work and repair plan would be completed by December. The project would go to bid in February, with all work completed by June 2009.

Bee staff writer Michael G. Mooney can be reached at mmooney@modbee.com or 578-2384.