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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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       Oregon council approved an agreement with ARCADIS U.S. Inc., of Toledo, to provide engineering services for the preliminary design for a wastewater treatment plant ultraviolet disinfection system for $75,000.

        Oregon currently uses chlorine gas to disinfect secondary effluent - wastewater effluent after it’s been treated, according to Public Service Director Paul Roman.

        Studies have shown that the reaction of chlorine with organic materials in the water form carcinogenic trihalomethanes and organochlorines, according to the EPA. As a result, dechlorination was instituted to remove residual chlorine from wastewater prior to discharge.

       The wastewater treatment plant complies with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permit requirements by removing chlorine residual following disinfection, since chlorine can be toxic to aquatic life.

        “We hit it with chlorine, then we have to dechlorinate it before it goes out to the lake. So we actually add a second chemical to do that,” said Roman.

        Due to increasing concerns with the hazards of chlorine to the environment, public and wastewater treatment plant personnel, and administrative efforts to meet safety regulations, the city is planning to switch to ultraviolet disinfection.

        “Chlorine is a strong disinfectant, but through the years, ultraviolet has now become the preferred method for disinfection,” said Roman. “Due to safety in the handling of chlorine tanks – which can be very dangerous – as well as the hazards to the environment,” the city plans to use ultraviolet treatment, he added.

        “Ultraviolet light disinfects and kills microorganisms,” said Roman.

        The city previously upgraded its chlorine system in 1991, he added.

        “A couple of years ago, we knew we had to start thinking about some sort of replacement,” said Roman. “We felt UV was the way to go. But there are so many different ways we could do it. We really needed a preliminary design and look at different alternatives – it could be just adding equipment to a tank versus a building. That’s why we want to go this route.”

        Roman advertised and requested qualification statements from engineers to provide services for the preliminary design of the disinfection system improvements. Besides ARCADIS U.S. Inc., the city received qualification statements from Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd., Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., and Tetra Tech, Inc.

        “We felt ARCADIS was the best,” said Roman.

Great project

        Councilwoman Sandy Bihn called the UV treatment “a great project.”

        “Thank you for bringing this to us,” she said to Roman.

        “As they are assessing this, are they also looking at opportunities for nutrient and phosphorous reductions in the effluent?” asked Bihn. Excessive phosphorous and nutrients are blamed by scientists with fueling the green harmful algal blooms that have plagued the shallow western basin of Lake Erie in the last several years. Some of the blooms can turn toxic and produce microcystin, a bacteria that can cause illness and even death in people, fish, dogs and livestock. An algal boom in August, 2014 contaminated the water supply for Toledo water customers and forced 400,000 people to drink bottled water for two and a half days.

        Roman said the focus was on UV as a disinfectant in treating wastewater.

        “There is a requirement by the EPA to disinfect our effluent. I don’t think it would have any effect on nutrients. I do know if we take on leachate from Waste Management or any other kind of waste stream, we have to make sure this UV system can handle that. Maybe that would make a difference with nutrients. But this would be solely a scope of work for disinfection.”

        Bihn, who is executive director of Lake Erie Waterkeeper, further asked if there was a way to piggyback on the UV treatment project with nutrient reduction if it presented itself at a minimal cost.

        “We could look at that,” said Roman. “Phosphorous is always something we want to reduce.”

        She also asked if the UV project would affect the biosolids produced at the plant and are disposed of by the city.

        “No,” said Roman. “It would have no effect on sludge production or affect that in any way.”

       

Costs

        Councilman Tim Zale asked Roman about the approximate cost of UV treatment.

        “That’s a bigger unknown,” said Roman. “Do we need a building, or can we retrofit a tank.” Estimates can be as high as $2 million, he added.

        “That’s why we want to do the preliminary design,” said Roman.” We can get a better feel for what will work. In a month or two, I’ll come to council and ask about doing a barter exchange with Waste Management where we take their leachate in exchange for our sludge. But when we take that leachate, that’s a new waste product coming in and we have to make sure the UV system can handle it. So that’s another factor as to cost. I think the preliminary design would be done in July. We’re probably looking at a final contract at that time. But I’d like to know enough to apply for an OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) grant in the fall. That’s the goal. Once the preliminary design is done, I’ll have a very good idea of what our cost will be.”

       

 

Universal Income

What do you think of presidential candidate Andrew Yang's proposal for a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every adult?
32550042 [{"id":"323","title":"It will help millions of people who are increasingly losing their jobs to automation.","votes":"1","pct":8.33,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"324","title":"No, if the proposal is paid for by tax payers.","votes":"10","pct":83.33,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"325","title":"Yes, if billionaires pay for it, as labor costs disappear due to automation.","votes":"1","pct":8.33,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/118-universal-income No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...