Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2001

Wastewater treatment plant online for May

April 12, 2001

A projected start date for the new wastewater treatment facility is set for sometime in May, according to Basehor Superintendent Gene Myracle.

Construction of the new plant began in August 2000 and the original cost was estimated at $3.1 million. Today the total cost runs more than $7 million.

The cost includes plant construction and renovation of the existing sewer collection system.

Myracle said the cost of the plant is significantly higher today because the amount includes collection system rehabilitation and the addition of a sewer interceptor project that was performed by Miles Excavating.

In addition, construction costs in general have gone up since the original estimate, Myracle said.

"The major impact of the cost increase from the project has only went up because of the four years it has taken to do the design and any changes that needed to be made," Myracle said. "Where the city really saved a lot of money is when they pre-purchased a lot of equipment material. They bought a lot of the main components before the treatment plant was to go under construction."

Bids for construction of the plant were awarded to Caruthers Construction of Paola, and Myracle said the company has done a good job so far in building the plant.

"Caruthers is doing a very good job," Myracle said. "They are a very good company to work with. They are very informative and they keep the city up to date. They call if they have any questions and they work very well in conjunction with the city."

The state-of-the-art mechanical treatment facility will replace two lagoon facilities that have been operating beyond capacity for several years. It is an expandable plant that will serve a population of more than 5,000 in its first phase and at least 25,000 in the final phase, according to city officials.

The new plant will allow the existing north and south lagoons to gravity drain to a lift station located on 163rd Street. From the lift station a force main will pump the sewage to the plant where it will go through the treatment process, Myracle said.

The new plant will be a vast improvement over the lagoon facilities that are now being used and will allow the city to grow in the future, Myracle said.

"You can offer more growth for you're community," Myracle said. "You can bring in more businesses, subdivisions and other developments. The key is to meet requirements from the Kansas Department of Health and Enviroment."

Myracle said the KDHE probably makes two visits to the plant a month and so far the department likes what it sees at the new wastewater treatment plant. Through the KDHE, the plant will be required to test the wastewater frequently to make sure that it meets state health and environment parameters. The plant also features an on-site laboratory that will allow those tests to be done at the plant, Myracle said.

The city public works department, which is currently housed at Basehor City Hall, will be moved to the plant site when construction is completed, according to city officials.

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