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City looking at $20 million to upgrade WWTP

The city of Glencoe is looking at close to $20 million to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant, the city’s finance and strategic planning committee heard at a Wednesday, Jan. 25, meeting.
It is hoped that city will qualify for at least $5 million in grant funding, which will bring the cost to the city down to about $15 million, according to staff from Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), the city’s engineering consulting firm.
Jessica Hedin of SEH ran through a slide presentation of the needed repairs and upgrades.
Hedin said SEH has goals of re-purposing or reusing as much of the facility as feasible, increasing efficiency and preparing for anticipated pollution control agency mandates.
Hedin said much of the facility and its equipment is at least 50 to 60 years old. “Twenty to 25 years old are probably the most recent facilities,” she added.
Among the issues with the aging plant are outdated technology, corrosion, increased maintenance, difficulty finding parts and vendors, and less efficiency.
“Staff is doing a great job of keeping the current facility in compliance, but it’s getting more difficult each year,” said Hedin.
One of the first tasks that needs to be address, Hedin said, is building a new lift station on higher ground.
Hedin said the current lift station is too low, and is prone to flooding, not to mention that it is “in poor condition.” A new lift station located on higher ground will keep it out of potential flooding, and will help make the plant more efficient.
Hedin said that moving the lift station higher will mean that it can use main force to move the wastewater.
“I think we counted a total of 10 pumps between the lift station and the clarification basin,” said Hedin. Most, if not all, of those pumps could probably be limited if the facility could use head force by gravity rather than pumps to move the wastewater.
For more about the proposed upgrades, see the Feb. 1 print edition of The Chronicle.