The City of Smithville is looking to renovate the headworks and replace the aeration system at the waste water treatment plant.
Grants will be sought to help cover the costs.
Greg Davenport of the J.R. Wauford company, the city's consulting engineer addressed the mayor and aldermen on the proposed project last week. "The existing wastewater treatment plant was designed in 1991 and it went into operation in 1992. It has functioned very well. The operation of that plant is top notch. The operators have done a fantastic job of preserving your infrastructure. Even so there are things that wear out with time and equipment is one of those things. After about twenty years at a wastewater treatment facility, it just gets to a point where it's time to renew it. There are really two components to the plant. The first component is the headworks which is the primary treatment. That's the screening and grit removal. Obviously the most aggressive environment is at the front end of the wastewater treatment plant. The second component is the aeration and controls. The aeration system itself is not in a failing mode but there are more energy efficient systems out there nowadays that we feel like you ought to take a look at. This would be a more pro active project. You could let things go if you so choose but it would probably escalate the cost of remediation. What we're proposing is a project that would renovate the headworks, which is the primary treatment device and then install a more efficient aeration system. My preliminary calculations on the aeration system show that it could save about $30,000 to $35,000 a year in electricity by switching over. That is certainly something you should take a look at. We're proposing that most of the project be paid for with grant funds so the project timeline will be extended. The plant is twenty one years old. It's time to take an assessment of it and see what needs to be done. If you're fortunate enough to get the grant funds it would save the city quite a bit of money," said Davenport.
Barbara Pearman of the MP3 Community Development Services in Kingston will be assisting the city in searching for available grants. "I have been in this business about twenty five years. I have worked with just about every funding agency there is out there. I've done state grants, federal grants, industrial grants, water and sewer grants, recreation grants. I am really very experienced and knowledgeable of the grant programs that are available and out there," she said.
Pearman said the city might be eligible for an Appalachian Regional Commission Grant, a Community Development Grant, USDA Rural Development Grants or Loans, or an Economic Development Administration Grant. The city would have to fund the local match of any grant approved.