MOUNT VERNON — Engineers from ADR and Associates in Newark met with the Board of Commissioners on Monday morning to update current wastewater projects and clarify billing.
The engineering firm is working with the county on two major projects, the first being wastewater treatment microsystems for six hamlets in the county, the second being updates to the wastewater plant that treats sewage from Apple Valley, with its outflow located on Little Jelloway Creek.
The hamlet project started in 2005, designing small wastewater treatment plants to serve the clusters of houses in the county that are not incorporated villages. These communities are limited in space, restricting them from expanding and replacing aging leech bed systems. As the old systems become less efficient, the pollution levels have increased in these hamlets, heading toward surpassing safe levels advised by the Environmental Protection Agency. Phase 1 of the project was design and Phase 2 was engineering; Phase 3 will be the construction.
To begin construction, the project must receive permits to install from the EPA. Project manager Jeffrey P. Carr said the EPA required additional bid documents to approve the engineering plans, which he provided, although the approvals still had not come through as of Monday morning. He said he would inquire with them further.
Carr said the Little Jelloway project needs to get under way before the end of the year, at least in terms of getting permits to install, which are subject to project time limits. The commissioners expressed a need to find some more funding sources to help support the project and suggested doing only part of the planned work at this time. Carr said a large portion would have to be done, regardless, as relocation of the water outflow point will force the changing of the ultraviolet purification system, which in turn will require flow meter and filter changes.
Billing confusion arose because ADR billed the county for all of the engineering for the hamlet project, even though only two of the six microsystems are going to be constructed initially. Once Carr clarified that, the commissioners said that was fine. The commissioners gave the go-ahead for both projects, pending receipt of the permits to install, but asked for ADR’s assistance in finding other funding sources to help both projects.