Wastewater facility recommendations made for Rockford

The Rockford City Council opened its meeting with a public hearing for the Wastewater Treatment Facilities which included a presentation by Ron LaFond of the Stantec engineering firm. New government mandates regarding amended phosphorus limits require the treatment center to have a plan in place by the end of 2013, and to initiate the actual reduction practices and procedures by May of 2015. Also is this plan are options for dealing with the city’s disposal of biosolids, something that’s become challenging over the last couple of years with insufficient storage, and repairs and upgrades to expect, and plan for, for the future of the wastewater facilities.

Chemical removal, versus biological removal, of phosphorus is recommended due to a lower cost and predictable results. Further investigation over what type of chemicals, and what kind of housing they will require, will be conducted by staff, the results and a recommendation brought back to council at a later date for consideration.

The recommendation regarding the biosolids includes transporting a portion of them to facilities outside of Rockford that handle disposal.

A cost estimate for implementing the recommendations, repairs and necessary improvements is $1,160, 000. Grant money is available for those portions of the plan that relate to phosphorus reduction. An annual debt service (at 3% interest) for the life of a twenty-year loan for the projected cost would come in at about $80,000 and begin in 2015.

The wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1967, with upgrades installed in 1997.

The council tabled action regarding the adoption on of the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Plan.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.