Columbus to receive wastewater treatment plant bids

Published 5:19pm Friday, November 2, 2012

Columbus is paying for the upgrades to the approximate 40-year old wastewater treatment plant through a zero interest loan obtained from the DENR Construction Grant and Loans Section Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. The $2.75 million loan will be for 20 years with reimbursements beginning after construction begins. The town contracted with W.K. Dickson for engineering of the project and budgeted the engineering contract funding in this year’s budget.

Columbus council members visited its treatment plant last October with members returning to say the town has no choice but to upgrade its plant. The plant no longer meets state standards. Upgrades include replacing several aspects of the plant but it will remain at its current 800,000 gallon per day capacity following the upgrade.

Original plans were for the plant rehabilitation as well as upgrades being done to the hospital pump station and bringing a fifth well online, but the state looked more favorably on awarding the loan if only the treatment plant upgrade was included.

Planned upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant include a new laboratory, a second chlorine contact chamber and a new water supply well for the plant as well as general upgrades to meet standards.

Columbus plans to pay back the loan through its water and sewer fund, with rate increases implemented in fiscal year 2011-2012. There were no rate increases this fiscal year, which began July 1.

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