PARKERSBURG – The Parkersburg utility board on Tuesday approved an engineering services deal on a $ 1.5 million project to upgrade parts of the wastewater treatment plant.
Members voted 4-0, with Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce the chairman absent to approve the $ 84,750 deal with Strand Associates to design the primary clarifier rehabilitation and chemical feed system upgrades. They included a caveat that final approval hinged on the review of the contract by counsel for the board, Jeff Reed.
The main problem with the clarifier is that the scum pumping system is not functioning properly after a change was made during the last upgrade, manager Eric Bennett said. “Foam” refers to the grease and other materials that float in the clarifier during the primary treatment process to remove solids from the water. The utility has to use a jet vacuum truck to remove material from the system a few times a week, Bennett said.
The chemical supply system includes tanks that store chemicals used in the treatment process. But when these tanks need to be replaced, “The only way to get them out is to remove that section of wall” Bennett said.
The project will improve the process, replace the tanks and facilitate future access to the tanks, he said.
Bennett said the repair work is included in the utility’s 2021-22 budget.