Media Release

Minnesota Community Specifies Penetron for Safe Drinking Water Treatment Plant


Completed in August 2022, the new Robbinsdale Water Treatment Plant in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, provides the community with an increased water treatment capacity – and softer water. PENETRON ADMIX SB, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, was specified to increase the durability of all the plant’s concrete structures.

An inner ring suburb of the Minneapolis metropolitan area, Robbinsdale is a city of around 14,000 inhabitants. Because of ongoing development and increased water demand, the City Council mandated a sweeping upgrade. The three regional water treatment plants from the late 1960s and the two existing wells were replaced by one central treatment plant for drinking water.

The $32 million project was designed by Oertel Architects, an architectural group specialized in public works facilities, and AE2S Services, a structural engineering firm. The new 3.5 MGD, 26,000 ft2 water treatment plant also comprises a new centralized lime softening water treatment plant to improve the quality of the region’s notoriously hard water. This also benefits the environment by reducing the amount of salt (from home softeners) that is typically released into the waterways.

On-site Support and Competitive Pricing

The plant’s water treatment tanks were constructed primarily of cast-in-place and precast concrete components for a 750,000-gallon clearwell, two 60,000-gallon backwash reclamation basins, a 192,000-gallon filter press permeate basin, and two 114,000-gallon lime solids holding basins. Other concrete basins include two solids contact softening basins, two 28,000-gallon recarbonation basins, two solids blowdown basins, and four gravity filter cells.

“While a competitive product was initially specified for the project, Penetron worked with the engineers at AE2S Services to secure approval for PENETRON ADMIX SB as the preferred concrete waterproofing admixture,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “In addition, Cemstone, the ready-mix concrete supplier, opts for Penetron products as the preferred waterproofing solution – thanks to easy dosage, durable packaging, our on-site support, and competitive pricing.”

Making Concrete Impermeable

PENETRON ADMIX SB-treated concrete is impermeable, stopping water and harmful elements from entering the concrete, even under the constant hydrostatic pressure encountered with a water treatment plant. Its ability to permanently self-heal any microcracks prevents any damage from occurring for the life of the concrete.

“As a concrete waterproofing admixture, PENETRON ADMIX SB is completely non-toxic and contains no VOCs,” adds Christopher Chen. “As an NSF 61-certified admixture, it is ideal for potable water applications like Robbinsdale.”

The new 3.5 MGD Robbinsdale Water Treatment Plant provides enhanced water treatment capacity for the community of Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

More durable concrete for softer water: The new 3.5 MGD Robbinsdale Water Treatment Plant provides enhanced water treatment capacity for the community of Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

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