Springfield to spend $2M to increase sludge storage at wastewater treatment plant

The Springfield wastewater treatment plant. BILL LACKEY/ STAFF
Caption
The Springfield wastewater treatment plant. BILL LACKEY/ STAFF

The city of Springfield is planning a more than $2 million project that would create more storage space for sludge caused by the local wastewater treatment plant.

The project would utilize city-owned property at 932 Dayton Avenue, which is across the street from the plant. Plans call for installing two covered storage facilities for the sludge, which is residue that accumulates in sewage treatment plants.

Sludge that is stored also undergoes a process in which liquids are removed. The project will also include the addition of scales to weigh vehicles.

ExploreSpringfield man killed in Champaign County rollover crash

The city has owned the land to be used for those storage facilities for several years. The plan is to demolish the old buildings on that property.

The project is expected to start this year and will last an estimated 180 days, said Chris Moore, the service director for the City of Springfield.

Money for the project is expected to come from funds through the American Rescue Plan. The city is expected receive a total of $44 million in those federal relief dollars.

The city currently stores that sludge at the wastewater treatment plant and will continue to do so, Moore said. However, the building of additional storage sites gives the city more space to hold that sludge, which is trucked away by a contractor and applied to farm fields.

The additional storage space will allow the sludge to be stored longer. Moore said there has been an increase in regulations pertaining to when that sludge can be applied to farm fields.

He said by having more storage space, it will save the city money as other alternatives can be costlier.

“We want to make sure that we have adequate storage capacity to be able to keep it out of the elements and onsite. If we run out of space, we have to send it to a landfill, which is much more costly,” Moore said.

The project is moving forward at a time when the city is planning to replace the pumps at its wastewater treatment plant on Dayton Road. The construction portion of that replacement is slated to cost over $6 million.

City Commissioners voted this month to increase the contract amount for the design phase of that pump replacement project by an amount not to exceed $575,710. The total contract amount is with the Black & Veatch Corporation for an amount not to exceed $1,364,840.

ExploreLast troops exit Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war

Moore said that relates to the administrative side of the project and is not related to a contract regarding the actual replacing of the pumps. The contract for that work is over $6 million.

The primary effluent pumps are located in the center of the plant and are responsible for pumping every drop of wastewater that leaves city homes and businesses, Moore said.

The idea behind that project is to replace and upgrade the pumps with ones that are more modern and energy efficient. The goal is to start work on that by the end of the year.

Springfield City Commissioners approved a contract in June with Peterson Construction Company regarding the labor and work needed to do the replacement for an amount not to exceed $6,477,000.