Authority briefed on treatment plant construction upgrades

More than $120 million in construction project upgrades at the Central and West wastewater treatment plants appear to be on schedule or ahead of expected time of completion.

John Amend, engineer with Arcadis working on behalf of the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority, briefed boards on both authorities Wednesday and explained milestones contractors working on the project have reached.

Start-up of new secondard clarifiers and a chlorine contact tank occurred on Jan. 7. The tank is the last part of the treatment process, where the effluent comes into contact with the chemical chlorine to disinfect it before it goes to the river.

The facility has a filter building that will go online in late March or early April. The filters reduce nitrogen heading into the Chesapeake Bay, Amend said.

The operations center at the Central plant is scheduled to open in June. The office has the laboratories that test water and sanitary issues to ensure the systems are in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations, Amend said.

The authority is about to send out bids for its West plant for its headworks and digester cover replacement. The bid opening should occur at the end of February, with notice to proceed with that project in early April.

Amend said he anticipated the final completion of a first phase would be mid to late summer at the Central plant.

Douglas Keith, executive director of the authority, said the plants are treating sewage are in compliance with state and federal regulations.

The upgrades paid for through bills to customers and few grants that were available, according to Keith.

The upgrades are meant to get the system in compliance with the reduction of the nitrogen loads that empty into the Chesapeake Bay.

Also at the meeting were two new appointees, George Bierman and Steven W. Cappelli, who replaced Dean Muller and Gregory Zeitler, for five-year terms.

The authority recognized the work done by Muller and Zeitler.