‘Things are tired. They’re worn out. Stuff breaks, it gets expensive to fix it.’
ST. ALBANS CITY — On Town Meeting Day, city voters will be asked to approve an $18 million investment in the city’s wastewater treatment facility.
Much of the plant was built in the mid-1980s, when the federal government made substantial grants available for the construction or upgrading of sewer plants following the passage of the Clean Water Act.
The plant has not seen any major improvements since then.
The bulk of the work will simply be replacing worn out equipment and bringing electrical and mechanical systems up to code. Close to $3 million will be invested in new phosphorous removal filters.
“A lot of this stuff has a 20 to 25 year design life,” said Wayne Elliott of Aldrich and Elliott, the engineering firm overseeing the project. “At some point it’s got to be replaced.”
During the Messenger’s tour of the facility on Thursday, the power went out. This has been an increasingly common occurrence, according to Allen Robtoy, the city’s director of public works.
All of the pumps in the facility will be replaced, increasing energy efficiency, explained Elliott. New heating systems will also improve energy efficiency.
“We’re really trying to set them up for the next 20 years,” he said.
For more information on the condition of the plant, read Tuesday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.