After nearly two years, the $10.8 million dollar sewage treatment plant renovation for Fairhope, Alabama, is finally finished.
The upgraded sewage facility will now handle more waste water, and city officials say that the new water treatment process will be safer for the environment.
Major updates to the sewage facilities include a new aeration tank, renovated headworks, clarifiers and digesters, all of which reduce the levels of pollutants in the water. City officials also ordered a generator worth half a million dollars.
According to Fox 10 WALA in Mobile, AL, the project began as just a proposal about five years ago. Water and Sewer superintendent Dan McCroy says that future growth preparation was a priority for the renovation project.
“We look at what the growth was in the last 15 years we already had on the plan, and then looked at that projected growth over the next 15, 20 years also, so that when we started looking at all these upgrades, what we could expect.”
The renovated plant can now handle up to 4.2 million gallons of waste per day, which is a slight upgrade from the previous system. However, the main goal of the renovations were to make the plant process sewage more efficiently, and puts out much cleaner result.
“When we started this project we were looking at a nutrient removal plant,” explains McCroy. “That’s what we have now, a nutrient removal. Phosphorus is what you see in detergents you see today. This plant is capable and is now removing phosphorus.”
McCroy continued to explain that the removal of phosphorus in the water is important, as it can contribute to blooms of algae in the bay.
While the renovations are complete, more work still needs to be done to the plant, such as repair to a drainage ditch that was washed out in a flood last year.
Sewage maintenance is important for homeowners as well. Experts suggest that homeowners avoid flushing solid materials down the toilet, and to keep as much debris out of the drains as possible. Sewage lines more than 40 years old will likely need replacement in order to continue to run smoothly.