City hires consultant to help analyze wastewater treatment facility needs
by Laura Haley
Contributing Writer
Jul 03, 2014 | 1004 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city of Moab is continuing to evaluate the needs of its existing wastewater treatment plant. Last week, the Moab City Council approved a task order for the evaluation of the plant performance, as well as an additional task order for the evaluation of dewatering press proposals.

Moab City Engineer Rebecca Andrus said during the June 24 city council meeting that several issues have recently been brought to light at the treatment plant, and they need to be addressed. She said that one of those issues is the amount of waste being trucked in from RV dumps and other non-treated sources.

The current method for sampling of the influent does not measure the effect of septage,” Andrus said in a memo to the council. “The contents of the septage dumping station are added to the inflow after samples are taken.”

Andrus said the city needs to know how much that added waste is affecting the inflow of the plant in order to determine how to move forward.

In order to address some of these issues, the city has hired Bowen Collins and Associates, Inc. to amend the Facility Master Plan and hopefully give the city a more detailed understanding of the changes that will be necessary to the treatment plant for the future.

Andrus said that, although the city has not yet determined whether they will be able to upgrade the current plant, it’s likely that a new facility will be necessary.

“The components that are out there have exceeded their useful life,” she said, adding that the lid on the digester has failed, which has reduced the digester to functioning as a holding tank. “It’s not doing what it’s supposed to do.”

Moab City Manager Donna Metzler said that the completion of the facilities plan will help point the city in the right direction.

The city will pay Bowen Collins $46,958 for the services. That cost is eligible to be covered by local sewer impact fees.

Bowen Collins will also help the city to find a permanent solution for sludge dewatering. The city leased a dewatering press in April as a temporary solution to a large amount of waste that had built up and wasn’t drying fast enough.

“[Although] it was a very convenient and effective measure, renting the press over the long-term is not a cost efficient solution,” Andrus said in the memo.

According to Andrus, the city has received five bids for different types of dewatering equipment that might suit the city’s needs.

“Comparing these bids and determining the best long-term solution for the city is a time-consuming and technical process that will look at the capital costs, power demand, water usage, performance/capacity, nature, quality and condition of the equipment,” she wrote.

The $9,500 that the city will pay Bowen Collins for those services is also eligible to be paid using revenues from city impact fees.

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