Lava Hot Springs Breaks Ground on Waster Water Treatment Project
Originally in The Idaho State Journal, 12-19-2011
Written by Michael Farnworth
Lava Hot Springs, ID: Many throughout the world might look at spending a million dollars as difficult to grasp. Lava Hot Springs is looking at spending more than $3 million as a blessing though.
"We finally got something accomplished," Lava Hot Springs Mayor Marshall N. Burgin said of the multimillion dollar wastewater project. "This project will be completed in two years time and I am so grateful that we were finally able to get this to an affordable cost to the citizens of Lava."
According to Burgin, the reason that the city has begun the project, which entered it's second phase Monday morning, is because of the Environmental Protection Agency's recent mandate that all sewage water discharge to area rivers be halted.
:What the finished product will do," Burgin said, "is incorporate 7,400 feet of pressure sewer line to the new winter storage lagoon which was built in phase 1 of the project. The lagoon will then be utilized during spring and summer months to fertilize area hay fields."
The project has been taken on by Whitaker Construction out of Brigham City, Utah and the company's superintendent Kevin Fredrickson of Grace said that the company is hoping to make this project a reference point for future successes.
"We're just really grateful to be a part of this project," Fredrickson said during Monday's ground breaking at the Lava Hot Springs City Hall.
USDA Rural Development spokeswoman Julie Neff felt that Monday's event was something the city should be congratulated on.
"I'd like to congratulate the city for getting to this point," Neff said. "It takes a lot to get here, and it takes a lot of people to make this happen."
Water Quality Engineer for the Department of Environmental Quality Craig Borenpohl mirrored Neff's sentiments when he said that is was just fun to see a project get to the point that Lava's has gotten to.
"I'm excited to see this and see what it will look like in the end." Borrenpohl said. The new pressure sewer line replaces 3,300 feet of gravity sewer and includes the construction of a 475 gallons per minute lift station and grinder station, removal of sludge from existing lagoons, the addition of new surface aeration equipment and improvements to existing buildings and equipment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Susan Lorenz, the economic development director for the project is happy to see the progress of the project as well.
"There was just no good news when the city looked at what needed to be done," Lorenz said. "It was very scary when it first began."
In its press release the USDA Rural Development Office said that when the project was complete it will allow the city to improve their wastewater system enabling them to stop discharging into the Portneuf River and convert to a total land application type of discharge, reducing potential risk to human health and the environment.
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