Wastewater plant upgrades pushing forward

Contruction begins on the administration building as part of the Gallipolis Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades.

Here lies the site for a wastewater final processing tank that needed to be moved a few yards from its initially planned site and one of the lines meant to be abandoned.

GALLIPOLIS — Footers have been placed and foundation walls will soon be poured for the new administration building as part of the Gallipolis Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades.

Delays occurred around mid-May due partially to an old abandoned chlorine tank from the 1980s that was not properly processed when it was abandoned. The new administration building was proposed to sit atop the structure.

According to Brian Lane, Gallipolis Wastewater Treatment Plant superintendent, when workers “rolled” over the site to compact dirt with a vehicle, water leaked up from the old tank site. During plant upgrades in the 1980s, the old tank was “drained, abandoned and supposed to have six one-foot holes cut in the side of its wall down at the bottom.” Stone filled the holes and rest was filled with sand.

Workers have since pulled the remaining old material out of the tank site and filled it with gravel for better drainage. It was then filled and rolled to meet state standards for compaction.

“It took us longer to figure it out than the fix the problem,” Lane said. “It took us maybe two days to fix it once we had it figured out.”

Due to recent rains, plant constructors anticipate pouring the remaining foundation for the site as soon as weather conditions improve.

“Hopefully we’ll pour (the foundation) this week,” Lane stated.

Some amendments were needed to the plant’s upgrade plans as workers encountered another problem while excavating dirt around the proposed location of one final process digestion tank. Apparently, an electric duct bank with the majority of the plant’s wiring sits in the way. Planners have had to move the coming tank a few yards from its previous location, otherwise work shall continue. Some debate has been had over an old emergency transport water line and its location to the new tank. Lane states he has spoken with OEPA representatives and it is possible the line can be abandoned, strengthened with concrete mixtures poured around it and then building can resume atop the old line.

The Gallipolis City Commission budgeted $8.4 million to the project in March using a variety of low-interest loans and grants received with help from the Ohio Water Development Authority, City Auditor Annette Landers said earlier in the year.

Excavators broke ground on the project in mid-April. Kanauga and Addison villages, as well as Green Township, are being added to the new septic systems. Ohio Environment Protection Agency regulations require the new locations to be added to comply with currently held policies.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.