WI city seeks $7.2M wastewater treatment renovation

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April 4, 2014 -- The city of Fountain City, Wis., recently requested approval from the Department of Natural Resources to receive a $7.2-million renovation for its municipal wastewater treatment plant in order to replace outdated and deteriorated equipment, provide additional reserve capacity for future service connections, and address new requirements for phosphorus reduction.

The city's treatment facility has historically performed adequately and complied with state discharge standards. However, it is 40-plus years old and needs to be updated. Plans call for construction of a new wastewater treatment facility on city-owned property approximately 600 feet southeast of the existing site (currently used for yard waste compost and equipment storage).

The project will include construction of a new influent solids screening unit and new influent sewage pumping station at the existing plant site along with installation of a new forcemain sewer to convey the wastewater to the new site. The proposed treatment facility will include a new conventional aeration treatment tank with enhanced biological and chemical-feed phosphorus reduction capability, final solids clarification tank, ultraviolet light effluent disinfection unit, aerobic sludge digestion tank, and waste sludge storage tank.

A new effluent sewer will also be installed adjacent and parallel to the new influent forcemain sewer and will connect into the existing outfall sewer for continued discharge of treated effluent to the Mississippi River. Further, the project will include construction of a new service building for the sludge pumps, aeration blower units, chemical-feed equipment, electrical equipment, and laboratory.

The city will be required to comply with the new water quality standards for phosphorus. The requirements associated with these standards will be addressed as part of the compliance schedule update in the city's next WPDES discharge permit re-issuance. Reverse space will be provided at the new treatment facility site for possible future installation of a tertiary phosphorus removal system if eventually required for compliance with the new phosphorus standards.

The estimated construction cost for the proposed project is $7,226,000 with annual operation and maintenance costs of $78,000. The city will seek financial assistance through the U.S.D.A. Rural Development program and Clean Water Fund programs. Depending on the final funding formula, the estimated user charge for the average residential customer is expected to increase from the current rate of $23.33 per month to approximately $82 to $114 per month.

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