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Inside a 30 year-old shell is a brand-new plant

In spite of challenges created by the necessity for uninterrupted operation, and an extremely small site, the Lindsborg, KS wastewater treatment plant has undergone a transformation.

Safety, compliance spurs action

City officials were spurred to act to provide greater plant safety and access for operators, upgrade treatment processes and controls, and to remediate elevated levels of nitrogen. The $5.2 million upgrade began in early 2010 and was completed in June of 2011.

An outdated plant is remade—while it keeps operating

The plant is designed to handle flows of 500,000 million gallons daily, with a maximum capacity of two million gallons per day.

Jim Martin, environmental engineer from PEC's Topeka office recalls, "We had to keep the plant fully functional throughout the extensive upgrade, which pretty much gutted every part of the plant. Plus it sits on a tiny little site, which complicated matters quite a bit."

     

Extensive upgrades and water reuse are provided.

Upgrades to the plant included new pumping and piping; new head works; safe access points to the wet well; new electrical and control systems, aeration, nutrient removal, recirculation pumps, clarifiers, and sludge processing; and upgrades to the ultra-violet disinfection system.

"It was essentially rebuilt," explains Martin. "We reused what we could. Plus, we added the capability for the city to reuse plant effluent to water their golf course."

   

The ability to reuse water for irrigation gives Lindsborg an important resource, and potential savings, in the face of the persistent drought in Kansas.

Funding comes from multiple sources
Financing for the plant's improvements came from four sources: the Amercan Recovery and Reinvestment Act; Lindsborg municipal funds; Kansas Department of Health and Environment revolving loan funds, and an EPA State and Tribal Assistance Grant.

An engineer's "dream team"
Martin credits the relationship between city and design staff for the project's success. "The city manager and the plant operator couldn't have been more helpful to the design and construction team," he recalls. "This was the dream team you wish you had on every job."