GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis Wastewater Treatment Plant has reached operational completion as of early October.
Construction workers are now just putting on the finishing touches to a facility that has the capability of processing around 7.2 million gallons of waster water a day.
According to wastewater plant manager Brian Lane, the plant has added a new administration building, converted settling tanks to aeration tanks and added intermediate clarifiers. The facility also has received a new final clarifier and converted operations from chlorine disinfectants to ultraviolet light-based disinfectant processes. The ultraviolet further helps water-cleansing practices by breaking down waste on a cellular level and should prove to be safer than some chemical treatments for individuals working on the facility site.
The Gallipolis City Commission budgeted $8.4 million to the project in March 2015 using a variety of low-interest loans and grants received with help from the Ohio Water Development Authority, City Auditor Annette Landers said last year.
Recent and current sewer construction projects in Kanauga and Addison villages, as well as Green Township, are expected to be connected with the new wastewater treatment plant.
Despite some previous concerns with late construction progress in July, Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene said the city government had arranged a deal with the construction company to make certain the city was not penalized by further construction cost.
When at full operating capacity, the plant can treat around 7.2 million gallons of sewage in a day. The facility is geared to accept an average of around 2 million in a day. The plant currently processes between 700,000 to 750,000 gallons a day. Lane said the plant’s new upgrade capabilities have much improved the work process. Lane said should the plant receive higher levels of waste than it normally would, it should not cost the plant more funds than what it would have before the plant was upgraded due to the new equipment and facilities. Improved electronic monitoring stations, equipment and computer systems also allow water water treatment workers to better gauge the status and needs of the flow system.
“We wouldn’t even know they’re giving it to us,” said Lane as a figure of speech when the plant may be handling higher levels of waste than normal.
“It’s a major upgrade for the city,” said Greene of the facility. “It will give us (potential) room to grow (infrastructure) and I’m glad it’s here.”
City officials have previously said upgrades for the waste water facility were necessity for the city to continue functioning and were doing the best they can to keep costs low for citizens and waste water treatment clients. The last upgrade made the facility was in the 1980s and the facility was originally constructed in the 1950s, according to officials. Lane believes the city will be able to make strong use of the facility for the next 20 to 30 years before needing any new upgrades to keep up with public use needs.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.