Construction to begin on new plant
A new wastewater treatment plant will be constructed in Baldwin City this next year and even though most people won't see any phase of the construction project, it is something that will benefit all Baldwin residents.
The construction of the new treatment plant at Tenth and Orange is set to begin around the first of March, Utility Director Terry McKinney said.
"This plant is designed as such to meet current requirements as well as future requirements contemplated by the government," McKinney said.
The plant, which will cost $2,689,000, will be built by Carrothers Construction from Paola.
"The projected cost was $2,978,000," he said. "We were able to keep the project under budget."
Carrothers also built the Baldwin City Public Pool and the treatment plant's sludge digester and ultra violet disinfection system.
He said the new treatment plant is a Schreiber model GR aeration plant, which will contain two trains, or units, that will be able to process a combined 900,000 gallons of waste per day.
The current plant that utilizes an oxidation ditch process has only one train that processes 432,000 gallons of waste a day.
McKinney said one of the reasons the city is building the new plant is to be able to continue to meet the state National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit requirements.
"We did it to stay in compliance with state requirements," he said. "So we decided to go ahead and expand it."
Also included in the expansion will be a new lab for analysis and a new office.
"We'll also have a status panel that will allow us to see what's happening in the whole system," he said. "We can see the whole operation of the plant. That gives us a lot more control over the process."
McKinney said the city has also planned for additional growth in Baldwin and left room for construction of a third train.
"We're planning for the future," he said. "Everything's being built for three trains. We will be able to build a third train in the future if it's needed."
The current treatment plant won't just disappear with the construction of the new plant, he said.
"That equipment will still be used," he said. "We did everything to maximize the equipment that's already down there.
"But we will only use the current system for emergencies," he said.
With the combination of the new plant and the current plant, McKinney said the city will be able to process a total of 1,332,000 gallons of waste per day.
The new wastewater treatment plant should be completed by March 28, 2003.
"The schedule looks good," he said. "The city's going to be very intimately involved in the inspection process of construction of the new sewer plant. We'll be down there a lot to make sure it gets done."