Public Hearing Held On Proposed Changes To Wastewater Treatment Plant

(KCCR) – The City of Pierre is moving forward with the third phase of improvements to the Wastewater Treatment plan. A public hearing was a part of that process Tuesday night. Utilities Director Brad Palmer says Phase Three will focus on three areas of the plant…

“Tonight we bring Phase 3, which is going to be work on the headworks, where the raw sewage comes into the plants, the bio-solids processing, which takes the final product out of the plant an effluent line to the river, which takes the treated, clean water to the Missouri River.”
Banner Associates of Sioux Falls has worked with the city on all three phases of the project. Dennis Rebelein with Banner says the changes to the will help with worker safety and odor…

“So we’ll replace the grit removal, that’s why it’s a whole headworks process and the reason we’re gonna do that is we’re gonna go to aerated grit removal so we can aerate that waste water. When we aerate that waste water what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna capture the air that comes off from that and run it through an odor control system. So we can help get rid of some of the rotten egg smell that you get or the waste water smell. It freshens, I hate to say that…it freshens the waste water a little bit, but then we capture that air and we can treat that air to help cut down on some of the odors. The process will look different but it will be a lot safer because we’ll do.. all of the equipment that require maintenance can either be pulled up from the wet well through a crane, by a crane or can be worked on by staff at grade.”
Palmer says a utility rate study last year for 2019 rates worked the 12 million dollar cost of the improvements into the five-percent increase…

“Tim’s study showed that if we can set the rates at what we had with our 2019 rate structure, that should carry us through this project so based on what we know today, we don’t see additional rate increases necessary to cover this additional infrastructure, so that’s good news to our rate payers. Now if, you know, operational-wise, if we have additional costs beyond what we know today, that might change, but as things stand today, we should be able to handle the additional debt load.”
The public hearing was a requirement for the funding for the project, which is through the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Only one member of the public spoke at the hearing.