Concrete on the outside of the roughing towers at the Owosso Wastewater Treatment Plant is failing due to age and the environment. The above photo was taken during tours offered as part of the National Waterways Exhibits on Saturday, March 23. Gary Burk, retired utilities manger, and Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne assisted with the tours, educating the public on structural issues.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The city of Owosso has three state revolving loan fund projects to address some of the major issues related to city water and sewer utilities. The third project was introduced during the council meeting on Monday, June 17 and involves a Revolving Loan Fund Application for wastewater treatment plant improvements. The city held a public hearing regarding the project plan prior to submission to EGLE (Environmental Great Lakes & Energy), formerly the MDEQ. The financing would help with the costs related to new effluent screw pumps, sludge dewatering, grit removal and the nitrification process – issues that must be addressed due to age and wear. The cost of the loan will be $5.56 million and will be paid over 20 years in a low interest loan, balancing out to approximately $6 quarterly/per household. Council members approved submitting the application.
Owosso’s wastewater treatment plant is located on Chippewa Trail, north of VG’s Grocery. Portions of the facility date back to 1935, though some rebuilds and retrofitting have occurred over the years. The plant collects wastewater from Owosso, Owosso Township, Corunna and also Caledonia Township.
As has been discussed in previous city council meetings, the plant is in fairly poor condition and minus necessary repairs, it will eventually fail to meet operational levels.
As stated in a letter of recommendation from Glenn Chinavare, director of public services/utilities, the proposed project will “address improvements to infrastructure to comply with regulatory requirements and increase reliability of service to residents and customers.”
Along with new screw pumps and the items listed above, the nitrification roughing towers need to be replaced. Installed in 1986, the concrete surrounding the outside of the towers is in bad shape. The towers need to be replaced before they fail.
C2AE advisors of Lansing presented the plan to council members during the Monday evening meeting.
C2AE advisors have found that some of the equipment is “structurally and mechanically damaged or in poor condition. Much of the equipment has either seen the end of its useful life cycle or is currently in inoperable condition.”
The proposed plan calls for construction to start in the summer of 2020. Bidding should begin in February 2020.