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Gladstone eyes wastewater project

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone City Commission unanimously approved starting the application process for a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan to improve the Gladstone Wastewater Treatment Plant’s efficiency and capacity.

The motions came after recommendations were made by C2AE, of Escanaba, after it presented its Infiltration and Inflow Report on the facility during a Gladstone City Commission special meeting Thursday night.

“Back in February, the commission authorized C2AE to do an (Infiltration and Inflow) study,” City Manager Eric Buckman said. “It was needed prior to us submitting for a revolving loan fund with the state. The state basically wants to know if the collection system needs work before you start sinking a bunch of money into your plant, which makes sense if you got a bad, leaky collection system you don’t want to design a plant twice as big as need be.”

Darren Pionk, a project manager at C2AE, presented the Infiltration and Inflow (I/I) Report and its recommendations to the commissioners present at the meeting.

“Right now you’re getting closer to the tail end of a lot of efficiencies with the plant and the equipment is just showing of age,” Pionk said. “Part of the (infiltration and inflow) study is to go through and evaluate the collection system for (infiltration and inflow) issues and basing it off of some of the … (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) EGLE requirements or guidelines.”

He explained the EPA criteria for a system of Gladstone’s size is 3,000 to 6,000 gallons per day per inch-mile of sewer. The EGLE guidelines are storm-water inflow at 275 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) and groundwater infiltration at 120 gallons per capita per day during high water.

According to the document summarizing the results of the study, Gladstone exceeded both measures by a moderate amount, with infiltration exceeding in 2016, 2017 and 2018 up to 158 gpcd and inflow exceeding in 2017, 2018 and 2019 up to 318 gpcd.

Pionk said after collecting extensive data on the system and evaluating it all, C2AE looked to how to cost effectively fix the infiltration and inflow issues in Gladstone.

He explained they came up with four options that could address the issues. Those included:

wastewater treatment plant additional treatment, wastewater treatment plant equalization (store higher flows during event and let it treat after the event has passed to even out system), sewer replacement, and sewer rehabilitation.

Of the options, Pionk said C2AE recommended the wastewater treatment plant additional treatment option as it was one of the two less expensive options at around $2.7 millions of costs attributed to the infiltration and inflow issues, but more effective compared to the other less expensive option of equalization.

The estimated total costs of the project would be around $14 million.

“That is the most cost effective approach to the city in the long run,” Pionk said.

According to Pionk, incremental improvements to collection system sewers should be planned alongside adjacent road and utilities improvements, as well.

As part of the process of applying for a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan, the report had to be presented to EGLE before the end of the year and the city commission had to publish its notice of intent to apply for the funds before the end of the year.

After the presentation the city commission unanimously approved to authorize C2AE to send a draft of the infiltration and inflow report to EGLE.

Following the approved motion, the commissioners unanimously approved another motion to publish a notice of intent to apply for a $14,033,793 state revolving fund loan for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades needed.

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