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Grandview Council tours wastewater plant

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Grandview Public Works Director Cus Arteaga (center) answers questions from (L-R) Grandview Council members Bill Flory, Joan Souders, Helen Darr and Jan McDonald. The council toured the wastewater treatment plant before last night's council meeting.

GRANDVIEW - The Grandview City Council took a tour of the city's wastewater treatment plant Tuesday night and then approved the reallocation of several businesses' wastewater capacities.

Dave Lorenz, treatment plant superintendent, started the tour in the plant's lab.

He explained to the council the lab was designed to be around for a 20-year span and provide lab space for three people. Currently there is only one full-time lab technician but sometimes extra help is brought in if needed.

"Every decision we make comes from test results in the laboratory," Lorenz told the council. "If you don't do that, you're just guessing."

The wastewater plant is a class III plant, the same as plants in Ellensburg or Wenatchee. In 2005 the plant took in 576 million gallons of wastewater, both domestic and industrial.

The 2005 daily average flow was 1.58 million gallons, or the equivalent of a population of 15,800.

Lorenz explained that Grandview's industrial businesses account for 55 percent of the flow.

Biosolids are the main concern at the plant and take up most of the manpower. The biosolids are removed from the water and then are dried.

Lorenz said he is still drying biosolids from 2004 because he doesn't have enough room. The biosolids are spread out about four inches high in beds to dry. He only has 100,000 square feet of beds and told the council an additional 200,000 square feet of beds are needed to keep up with the amount of biosolids coming in.

Lorenz told the council he is working on three disposal programs for biosolids.

The first is to take the dried waste to the game department at a reduced cost. The class 2 biosolids are allowed to fertilize crops not for human consumption.

The second would be to get the biosolids as dry as possible and then take them to Natural Selection Farms. The third would be to take the biosolids to the landfill without any costs except for shipping.

By constantly reviewing programs, Lorenz said he has been able to save money and gave a few examples.

In 2000, wet chemistry analyses by instrumentation reduced chemical costs by $12,000 annually and reduced man hours in the lab by eight hours per week.

In 2001, the flow patterns were modified to the aerated lagoons and power conservation resulted in electrical savings of 49 percent or $112,000 annually.

In 2003, experiments with settling agents found an alternative to lime and reduced operating expenses from $200 per day to $3.50 a day.

At the conclusion of the tour the council then moved to chambers to conduct one piece of business. The council voted to approve the reallocation of industrial wastewater discharges for Fresh Potato, Smucker's, Shonan USA and the Welch plant.

These businesses were over their allowed flow and were paying fines to the Department of Ecology.

For example, Smucker's is allotted 1,705,000 gallons per day but they were sending 2,852,000 gallons of wastewater per day.

The approval by the council will allow these businesses to send more wastewater to the plant without going over their allotted amount.

Even with the increased allotments, the treatment plant capacity could still serve the needs of Grandview for the next 25 years, assuming 2 percent growth per year.

It was also announced at last night's council meeting a community picnic will be held this Thursday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. in Eastside Park. This picnic is just one of a series put on by the city so residents can meet and ask questions about city services.

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