(ATLANTIC) A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new wastewater treatment plant in Atlantic this morning.
The planning process for the new plant began in 2006 and a contract was awarded to Hawkins Construction in December of 2010. Phase one of the project was complete in May of this year and phase two was completed at the end of September.
Mayor Dave Jones said the new plant is just another great asset to the community.
“You take our wastewater treatment plant here is all upgraded, our airport here is doing things, our YMCA, daycare center, all this stuff going on in Atlantic just shows we’re a growing community and we kind of think we’re the shining star of southwest Iowa or any small town in Iowa, so we’re proud of what we’re doing,” said Jones.
Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris said he is pleased with how well everything has progressed.
“The amount of effort it took; former council members, current council members, the work of the engineering team and staff to all make this happen is really remarkable,” said Harris. “It really was a pretty flawless project, all projects have their issues, but really I’ve been very pleased with the way this has progressed.”
The old wastewater treatment plant was built in the 1940’s and was designed for 3-million gallons a day. The new plant is designed to take 15-million gallons in an hour and there no longer any bypass of raw sewage to the river.
Wastewater Superintendent Mark Farrier explained some of the upgrades to the plant.
“We now have a much more stable process that removes ammonia, BOD; which is a wastewater indicator of how clean the water is, we’re also removing E. coli bacteria with our UV system; meaning when we’re going down and catching fish in the creek we’re no longer having to worry about how polluted that water is, it’s a great benefit,” said Farrier. “This plant can handle the higher flows without getting upset, without putting us in violation with the DNR and the EPA. Also, other safety things…. we went from anaerobic digestion; which causes methane, which can cause explosions, it’s a health hazard, eats away metal, obviously driving by here there were probably times when there were odors, we’re now an aerobic digestion and we should never have any odors as long as we can maintain the facilities correctly.”
The construction cost of the plant to date is around 12.3 million dollars.