News Briefs: Maine Wastewater Systems Receive $30 Million

News Briefs: Maine Wastewater Systems Receive $30 Million

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Seven Maine wastewater treatment facilities received a funding boost from the U.S. Department of Agriculture during an Earth Day celebration in Hartland, Maine. During the event, the USDA announced $29.7 million in grants and loans for system upgrades.

The grants will go to Stonington Water Co., Wiscasset Water District and the communities of Hartland, Gardiner, Oxford, Van Buren and Danforth for projects that will help prevent contamination of the state’s waterways.

The largest award — nearly $23.7 million — will go to Oxford for a new wastewater treatment plant that includes seven pump stations, more than 48,000 feet of pipe and a membrane bioreactor wastewater system.

Nationally, the USDA announced $387 million in funding for 116 projects, calling it the “largest Earth Day investment in rural water and wastewater systems,” in a press release.

Source: Press Herald, Bangor Daily News

Rising Sea Levels Threaten Wastewater System
High tides in King County, Wash., have been the source of saltwater woes and expensive repairs for the area’s wastewater treatment plant. During some king tides, which typically occur in the winter, up to 2 mgd of saltwater backs into the stormwater collection system and enters the treatment plant.

According to John Phillips, a water quality planner for King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division, the water is not enough to disrupt the plant’s bacteria digesters, but it has lead to increased levels of hydrogen sulfide, which accelerates pipe corrosion. As a result of the rising water, the city has coated pipes, repaired damaged clarifiers and more — which adds up to millions of dollars of expense.

County engineers now regularly monitor a system of massive valves that blocks seawater from entering stormwater pipes during high tides. Phillips says that for now, the treatment plant will be able to manage the rising sea levels. However, more projects are in the works, including plans to upgrade a combined sewer system.

Source: Biz Journals

Water Reuse Discussions Spread Across Texas
As drought conditions worsen and water sources decline, yet another Texas town is considering water reuse as a solution. City leaders in Brownwood, Texas, have been discussing the construction of a direct water reuse plant, which they need to vote on before a loan approval expires on May 27.

“The biggest positive impact would be another 1.5 mgd of available water and to save our lake and to make sure we have adequate water supply,” says Mayor Stephen Haynes, in a report from KTXS out of Abilene, Texas.

Because the system is direct reuse, Dennis Spinks from the Brown County Water Improvement District, expressed some concerns about contamination and what type of safeguards would be in place.

Source: KTXS 

Odors Decrease As Plant Opens
The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department is not only under budget and ahead of schedule, but it’s also odor-free, now that a $605 million project is complete. 

“We’ve had a history of odor, and we’re proud to say that odors are a thing of the past,” says Jackson Jenkins, county wastewater director, in an interview with Arizona Public Media.

Planning for the massive project began in 2009, and included construction of the new Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility to replace the Roger Road WRF, which was the main source of odor complaints. Additionally, the project included construction of a 5-mile pipeline to connect the two main treatment plants along, upgrades to the Tres Rios facility and construction of the Water Energy and Sustainability Center, which houses a state-of-the-art laboratory and training center.

The new treatment plants produce a higher quality effluent, which will be used for irrigation and golf courses in the area.

Source: Arizona Public Media, Arizona Daily Star


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