Long-due improvements needed for waste plant
Despite construction errors and a plague of excess storm water issues, Eudora's wastewater treatment plant could still face a strong future, Pat Cox of BG Consultants told the Eudora City Council at its March 13 meeting.
Cox delivered the preliminary report to the council after studying the capacity and effectiveness of the plant.
The current plant, constructed in 1998, replaced the former treatment center built in 1971.
The older system used a series of lagoons to contain waste, Cox said.
"In the original planning for the new mechanical plant, it was planned to have storm water during peak storm events go into cell number two and then ultimately be funneled back in to the mechanical wastewater plant," Cox said.
After briefing the council on the history of the plant, Cox focused on the main issues affecting peak performance.
The first issue Cox raised concerned alien items going into the wastewater collection system.
"In an ideal world, we'd only have to treat wastewater," Cox said.
But because of the nature of the collection process, foreign items get in and clog up the plant's equipment, Cox said.
"Basically, it doesn't do a very good job," Cox said. "Right now it just allows it to get in on the system."
During the study, Cox said he examined the plant's overall sludge management system.
The current management still lets excess water into the system, Cox said.
"We're working on several aggressive programs to eliminate that," Cox said.
Cox offered 13 preliminary recommendations to the council.
One of Cox's strongest recommendations was for the city to revive the second lagoon as per the original construction plan.
"Your place can last maybe 16 or 18 years if we can just treat wastewater," Cox said.
In order to find money to fund the lagoon recovery, Cox said there were grant resources available.
"I'm working with the (Kansas) Department of Health and Environment right now to come back about the details associated with going with that very thing," Cox said.
Cox also raised the importance of acquiring a back up generator for the plant.
"When we have a power outage, people are still doing their things," Cox said.
Cox said he was in discussion to maybe acquire a generator that has been taken out of commission by a local company.
"As more information becomes available, I'll be back and present that to the council," Cox said.
Eudora could also continue the best use of the plant by doing population projections, Cox said.
The population information would help city leaders best make decisions on the wastewater plant's capacity.
While doing projections, Cox told the council he only looked at the average citizen using only 70 gallons of water per day.
"Your city is very conservative about its water use," Cox said.
Cox also discussed several options with the council concerning grit removal.
Despite the lack of follow through with the lagoon, and a botched pipe-size connection, Cox remained positive on most of the plant and its treatment process.
"I do want to defend your plant a little bit. It is an excellent plant and the Schreiber process is one of the most flexible, well engineered."
Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty concurred with Cox's statement, but also noted room for improvement.
"Your Schreiber system is a good system," Beatty said. "It's some of the pre-treatment and the after-treatment on the sewage that's never been done quite right," Beatty said.
Cox promised to return to the council at a later date with more information.