Construction is nearly complete for the town of Rising Sun’s new wastewater treatment plant, officials say, with just 15% of the work remaining.
Mike Schober, an engineer with construction firm CDM Smith, told the Cecil Whig that construction on the $14 million wastewater treatment facility is now 85% complete, with just the electrical work and detailing remaining.
“The structure is up and the grass is growing,” he said. “In about two weeks, we’ll begin trucking in the biological material,” Schober said. “Then we’ll begin pumping the sewage into the new plant.”
The biological material, which will make the plant’s orbal ditch system work, will be imported from nearby Elkton. Since these micro-organisms are coming from a working system, their introduction into the Rising Sun plant is virtually a guaranteed success, Mike Poyner of Miller Environmental explained. The biological material will work in any weather, even extremely low temperatures, Poyner said.
At startup, the Rising Sun plant will process 500,000 gallons of sewage and wastewater each day. Its orbal ditch system replaces the old plant’s lagoon system; however, the existing lagoon will be incorporated into the new system.
It’s no surprise that constructing a brand-new sewer facility carries such a hefty price tag when sewer technologies in general don’t run cheap. In the U.S., trenchless sewer technologies alone account for nearly half of the $3.4 billion sewer line industry.
While construction on the Rising Sun plant began in April 2012, work came to a halt in late 2013 when the original construction company backed out of the project. With a new construction company, work resumed in March 2014.
But despite these steep up-front costs, investing in high-quality sewage and waste water treatment equipment comes with many long-term benefits. With higher-quality equipment comes fewer costly repairs, eventually saving the sewer department — and the town — money in the long run.