NEW EFFLUENCE IS CLOSE AT HAND
By Maureen Soso
(MONMOUTH) Monmouth‘s wastewater treatment plant is bringing a change that most residents will never see. Construction on the city’s new economically efficient wastewater treatment plant is coming to an end this month, leaving behind very little evidence of the previous 100 year old decaying system. Thanks to a State Assistance Grant awarded through the EPA, the waste in Monmouth will soon be taking a different route.
After new regulations passed by the EPA made the previous wastewater treatment plant out of date, reconstruction finally became necessary in 2006. “We had to decide how to invest the money,” says Public Works Director, Andy Jackson. The city faced two options: retrofit the current plant or create an entirely new plant. The city chose the later. The ground breaking took place in October of 2008 and has been underway since.
The EPA has set a completion date for the plant’s construction, but can the city meet the March 27th deadline? Bill Hart, the plant superintendent, gives reaching the deadline an 80-90% chance if the weather holds out. “This 40 degree weather is helping us out, getting all the ice melted out of the pipes,” says Hart. Failure to meet completion by the EPA’s deadline could result in a fine for the new plant, Hart says, “If we’re not done by the end of the month we’ve got to write the EPA and plead our case” Receiving a 90 day extension won’t be anything new; the city received one last December from conflicts due to weather.
Once the plant is completed, the changes for the people of Monmouth won’t be something they can taste or see. According to Jackson, the drinking water will look and taste exactly the same as it does now. The new wastewater treatment plant is located a mile and half out of town, out of sight for most residents.