By Mike Dunn 

Wastewater talk resurfaces

 


At the Jan. 21 town council meeting, Saratoga Town Clerk, Suzie Cox, announced that the town council had received the audit report for the 2013 fiscal year.

The council members had yet to look over the report at the time of the meeting.

Chuck Bartlett, Saratoga’s town engineer, said that the Water and Sewer Joint Powers board have received the approval for the Mineral Royalty Grant for the Wastewater Outfall Transmission Line and Pump Station Project.

“Everything is a go. We have to get the second part of our loan application in by Feb. 10,” Bartlett said. “Hopefully we’ll have it done by next week.”

The project will consist of constructing a wastewater effluent station and transmission line from the Saratoga lagoons to the North Platte River, using ammonia to dilute the wastewater. The project is projected to cost more than 1 million dollars. It will be compensated by a $373,000 grant, the loan for the project was for $716,900 with around $100,000 in principal forgiveness.


Bartlett announced that the plan will increase water bills for Saratoga residents to around “5 to 8 dollars” but won’t know the exact amount until later. Saratoga resident Glee Johnson questioned Bartlett on whether or not he gave enough consideration to an evaporation-pond like setup.

“In order to have an evaporation pond, we do not have enough room,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said filtrating into the river is a cleaner solution than the current disposal of wastewater, which consists of dumping into Hot Slough Creek.

Johnson said that she was not concerned about this project from an environmental standpoint, but from the financial view as well, citing the increasing costs from sewer and landfill.

“I guess it’s one of those things that you look at and you wonder if it’s an added burden to your consumers to add another $5 to $8 [on top of current utilities],” Johnson said.

Bartlett said that the Wastewater Outfall Transmission Line and Pump Station Project was the best solution to the wastewater problem after assessing the results from other projects.

“The processes that we have tried in the past aren’t working as well as we hoped,” Bartlett said. “And the only way we can meet [the needs of the town] was to either dump directly into the river, which has a higher dilution rate, or build a mechanical plant. We’ve tried to use cattails, we’ve tried to use evaporation ponds--there just is not enough room for any of those and their isn’t enough money for a mechanical plant.”

The next town council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 at Saratoga Town Hall.

 

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