Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

As many of you may know, our plan was to be under construction with Phase 1 of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade. The design for the upgrade is currently on hold with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) due to litigation filed against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approving the DEQ-proposed Total Maximum Daily Limit (TMDL) pollution limits.

Phase 1 of the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade was intended to bring the plant in compliance with the established TMDL pollution limits. If the EPA litigation results in tougher TMDL pollution limits, the design parameters will have changed and the City will need to redesign Phase 1 around the new design parameters. That option would clearly not be good news for us and could adversely impact project cost estimates and the funding structure we have in place. However, there isn’t anything we can do until this matter is settled in the courts, which could take months.

Our bond issuance to finance the plant upgrade was based upon a completed master plan update, design, construction cost estimate and a rate structure to support the delivery schedule of the needed improvements. All of this has been changed as a result in the delay in obtaining regulatory approval caused by this pending litigation. An update to the completed rate study will be needed to address changes to the project delivery schedule and scope of work.

The City will be moving forward with the third year of our biosolids removal and land application contract. Approximately $500,000 will be expended this year on biosolids removal. Additionally, capital improvements to the wastewater collection system identified in the Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan Update will continue with an estimated expenditure of $295,500.

We are looking forward to getting this project started and we’re excited about the positive environmental impacts these improvements will have on the Pudding River. 

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