Eastern Plains outlines problems with current wastewater system


Submited by Eastern Plains EDC

  The Town of Terry’s wastewater treatment system was built in 1965 and, with the exception of cleaning and embankment repair, no other improvements have been made to the treatment system since that date.  
       The town has been allowed this long period of no major improvements in large part due to the fact that the system was originally designed for 1,550 persons, and the population of Terry declined to around 600 as of 2010. That being said, during that same time period, performance requirements, i.e. regulations and design standards have been significantly changed in a coordinated effort to improve the nation’s water quality.

 
As a result of these tightened standards, the existing water system does not meet Montana Department of Environmental Quality design standards and recently issued discharge permit limits. These additional requirements, in conjunction with any desire for growth in the community, warrants the need for an upgrade to the wastewater treatment system.  Without this upgrade, the community will face a series of permit violations, possible enforcement actions, and lost economic opportunities if a moratorium were to be issued.
The current system has the following problems:
1. The system has insufficient capacity for current or future treatment needs;
2. The Town will likely begin receiving DEQ violation notices for violation of discharge permit requirements;
3. The system will not meet new discharge limits for disinfection and removal of pollutants;
4. Existing flow control structures are unsafe and violate multiple codes;
5. Flow measuring, which the system does not have, is now required;
6. Treated effluent disinfection, which the system does not have, is now required.
The proposed solutions (pending Town Council approval) include:
1. Expand the lagoon system adding flow measuring and disinfection facilities as needed;
2. Repair and upgrade the flow control structures;
3. Construct an outfall pipeline to the Yellowstone River and stop discharging into the Buffalo Irrigation Ditch;
4. Perform a detailed leakage study on the existing lagoon cells and repair or replace the protective liner system as required, based on that study’s recommendations.
The Town’s engineer, Stahly and Associates, Inc. will be on hand on Thursday, March 20th at 7:00 pm at the Terry Town Hall to discuss the project and the public is encouraged to attend.  Discussion will include the problems, alternatives considered, proposed solution, and the cost of the project and possible funding strategies.     

Published March 12, 2014

Article Type: 
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