A series of repairs estimated at $265,000 began at North Bend’s wastewater treatment plant last September, and are expected to be done by May. Although weather and equipment problems set the project back a week in November, the most critical repair, a new outlet structure, gate and piping for the plant’s oxidation ditch, was finished earlier this month.
“That was our capacity issue,” City Administrator Londi Lindell told the North Bend City Council at its Dec. 2 meeting. She reminded the council that the city was permitted to process nearly 2.6 million gallons of wastewater per day, but a since-repaired bottleneck in the oxidation ditch limited their effective capacity to 1 million gallons per day.
“This weir, that will have a gate, will allow us to function at our intended capacity. This is really great news that this will be done before year-end.”
The weir was the highest priority project of the three repairs that the city authorized in an emergency declaration in August. The other two projects are new rotors and updates to the aeration system, and a new conveyance system for sludge disposal.
Project Manager Don DeBerg gave the council an update on the sewer repairs, saying “So, good news (it’s) done. Bad news is we’re not even close to done with this plant. There’s still a lot of work to be done here.”
Last March, the city’s then public works director, Frank Page, recommended more than $4 million in improvements to the facility, to resolve the city’s capacity issue as well as improving efficiency and safety at the plant, additional staff, monitoring, and odor reduction. City staff then prioritized his recommendations for the council.
DeBerg said he’d identified four additional priority projects, at an estimated $300,000, that he would recommend as next steps. These included repairs to the plant’s ultraviolet light sanitizers and system updates to integrate plant alarms with a notification system to automatically call the on-call staff when alarms are activated.
The city is also currently advertising a position for a wastewater treatment plant manager.
For more information, visit http://northbendwa.gov.