Study to address city's wastewater capacity


HUNTINGBURG — The City of Huntingburg is planning a study to address future capacity issues at its wastewater plant.

Eric Parsley with Commonwealth Engineers told the Huntingburg Board of Public Works and Safety Thursday that the idea is to address the matter before the Indiana Department of Environmental Management does.

“We don’t want to get into a situation that IDEM tells us that we can’t accept any additional flow at that plant that would be necessary for residential or industrial growth,” he said.

The wastewater plant has a side stream treatment process that addresses excess water that flows into the plant’s system from rains, a process that IDEM has allowed.

“When it rains, you get a lot of excess flow at the plant, more than what the traditional treatment plant drain can handle,” Parsley said. “So you have permitted a side stream treatment that allows you to treat it through a different means before it’s discharged.”

Although this process is permitted, the state does not allow the flow from the side stream process to count toward the plant’s treatment capacity, he explained.

“Your average design flow capacity at the plant is 1.14 million gallons a day,” Parsley said. “We evaluated the flows from 2015 to 2017 at the plant. On an annual flow basis, your actual average flow was 1.3 million gallons. So that’s over that capacity at the plant itself, basically on paper, because you can’t count that side stream treatment process.”

For the last few years, efforts have been made to get IDEM to agree to a different way of determining the flow, but the state agency has said no, Parsley said.

Parsley said a plan needs to be in place to address how the city will handle capacity needs, he said. The plan will start with a study of the system.

Commonwealth has been trying to get a planning grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office, but found out recently that it is unlikely the city will be granted one.

So, Parsley suggested the city cover the $40,000 cost to get the study done. Any future project would more than likely be covered by a grant or low-interest loan from the Rural Development Office, he said.

Mayor Denny Spinner encouraged the board to move ahead with the study. “Having a plan in place to address this would put us in good standing with IDEM,” he said.

The board approved moving forward with the study. The $40,000 cost will be covered through the wastewater department’s budget, with half coming from the current budget and half coming from next year’s budget.

The board also:

• Learned that Wastewater Superintendent Mike Kemp will retire in August. Kemp has been with the city for 27 years, 23 of those years in the wastewater department. He has been superintendent for the last nine years. The board approved the city starting the search for Kemp’s replacement.

• Approved the Huntingburg Police Department submitting an application to the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office for the agency to cover the costs for purchasing and outfitting a police vehicle. Assistant Police Chief Brad Kramer said the department should know in about 30 days if the grant was approved.

• Approved a lease agreement for new K-9 officer Maya, who comes with new Officer Jason Haycox. The city will cover Maya’s certification costs up to $600 per year and for veterinary services related to her on-duty services up to $1,000 per year.

• Hired Knies Construction of Jasper to do paving work on Third Street between Chestnut and Walnut streets for $165,367. Since this a Community Crossings project, the state will cover 75 percent of the project’s cost.

• Hired Mehling Construction of St. Anthony to replace a sewer main on South Cherry Street for $19,800.

• Selected Cooper Rail of Huntingburg to demolish the buildings and fuel tank pad at the former street department site on First Street for $11,665.

• Was reminded that the next public works meeting will be on Thursday, July 11, because the first Thursday in July is Independence Day. The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. in the council chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 508 E. Fourth St.

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