Durango sewer plant overhaul work to start in May 2017

Wastewater Treatment Process
Wastewater Treatment Process

From The Durango Herald (Mary Shinn):

The city plans to take out a $62 million loan this month to pay for a sewage-treatment plant remodel in Santa Rita Park.

Work at the plant is expected to start in May, and it will require about two years, said consultant Bob Bolton, a vice president with Dewberry.

Work on aeration basins will be accelerated to meet the February 2018 deadline to remove more nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and ammonia from water the plant puts back in the river, he said.

Design work has been ongoing all summer, and a team of consultants on Tuesday presented drawings and site plans to the Durango City Council.

The actual construction of the plant is expected to cost about $53.8 million, Bolton said. The additional money the city will borrow is needed to cover related costs, such as design, said Mary Beth Miles, assistant to the city manager.

Voters approved a $68 million bond question to use for the plant and other improvements. This will give the city a little flexibility in case the bids come in higher than expected, Miles said.

At public and stakeholder meetings, odors at the plant have come up as a major concern, Bolton said.

“We’re going to contain it and take care of it,” he said.

Air coming into the buildings will be ionized to help purify it to make it more tolerable for employees, and air coming out of the building will be filtered.

“You won’t know that it’s a wastewater plant,” Bolton said.

As part of the design process, the consultants factored in the Animas River Trail and Santa Rita Park, and they plan to use landscaping to help buffer some of the plant. In addition, the consultants are planning to use stone, metal and concrete on the outside of the buildings to make them more muted.

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