PIQUA — The city of Piqua is on its way to meeting mandates from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and improvement project was held Friday morning.
“This has been a long time coming,” City Manager Gary Huff said. “We first had discussions with EPA back in 2002 and doing various things to help alleviate issues here at the treatment plant, but now we’re faced with going forward and doing an upgrade and expansion at this facility, which should last for many, many years.”
The groundbreaking ceremony signaled the beginning of an approximately $40 million construction project.The improvements will include expanding the plant to get rid of the city’s sanitary sewer overflow, which is untreated wastewater that overflows into the Great Miami River.
The Piqua City Commission awarded the construction contract to Peterson Construction Company for the expansion and upgrades of the plant. The cost of the project is not to exceed to $42,314,738, which includes a 5 percent contingency. The project is being funded through a loan from the Ohio EPA Department of Environmental Financial Assistance (DEFA) for the project.
“One of the caveats of this plant is not only the sanitary sewer overflow that we had to address the EPA’s mandated, with harmful algae blooms that are out on the great lake, the Ohio River now, and also St. Mary’s, those blooms are coming, and this plant will actually take care of that,” Chris Melvin, superintendent of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, said.
In addition to eliminating SSO, the expansion and upgrades for the plant will include a number of other improvements. Those include increasing the plant’s capacity to treat wet-weather flow without sewer back-ups and treatment tank overflows and the addition of oxidation ditches for biological removal of organics from incoming wastewater. Another notable component to the project is that the plant’s existing chlorine contact tank will also be retrofitted with an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system, which is expected to be an updated, safer, and more effective disinfection technology.
Melvin explained that the city was able to receive a zero percent interest loan from the EPA on approximately 70 percent of their project due to including upgrades for biological removal, such as what will protect the city from harmful algae blooms.
“This is a very important day in our city,” Mayor Kazy Hinds said. “I think about water and the resource that it is for our citizens, and as you know, we have put a lot of work into the front end of our water with our Water Treatment Plant, and now of course, we’re working on the Wastewater Plant. It’s exciting as we move forward.”
CDM Smith will oversee the construction of the project and make sure that the plant is built according to their designs. The commission award CDM Smith a construction administration contract that is not to exceed $5,445,400, which includes a 5 percent contingency.
The commission also previously entered into an agreement with Bowser-Morner, Inc. for testing and observation services for the project. The contract is not to exceed $335,008, which includes a 5 percent contingency. Bowser-Morner will oversee materials testing aspects of the plant construction to ensure quality assurance and quality control.
Melvin recognized numerous attendees, including Hinds and commissioner John Martin, Utilities Director Dave Burtner, retired Wastewater superintendent Dave Davis, Wastewater employees, Finance Director Cynthia Holtzapple, City Engineer Amy Havenar, representatives from engineering firm CDM Smith, representatives from the contractor Peterson Construction, representatives from quality assurance company Bowser-Morner, and more.
The project is expected to be completed by summer 2020.
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