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Improvements to waste water treatment

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
The first phase of $8.4 million in improvements to Salisbury’s wastewater treatment facilities continues under construction and within budget.
Jim Behmer, interim utilities director, told Salisbury City Council Tuesday that Phase 1 should be complete by Aug. 11, 2009.
In 2006, Salisbury-Rowan Utilities asked council to consider a two-phase, multi-year improvement effort to extend the life of the existing wastewater facilities. It would delay the need for building a new $80 million wastewater treatment plant.
A second phase of improvements is expected to be completed by 2015.
Phase 1 is adding two million-gallon digesters at Grants Creek. Those digesters are complete and are supposed to come on line next Friday.
Other work has involved an aeration basin rehabilitation, new equipment in two final clarifiers and a new belt press at the Town Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Behmer said several improvement items were removed during the design and bidding process to make sure Phase 1 would come within budget.
He told council members Tuesday the city received competitive bids, allowing the utility to return some of the items.
In addition, Behmer said, competitive concrete prices were locked in so concrete repairs could be made at one of the two raw water reservoirs at Ellis Crossroads.
City Council approved Tuesday a change order in the amount of $572,682 to add five items back in.
Those items include the concrete apron repairs at Ellis Crossroads, $374,502; a surface decant/overflow reroute, $77,172; conduit to a belt press, $12,149; PVC waterline in the dewatering building, $7,340; and removal of solids from Aeration Basin No. 2, $101,516.
Wharton-Smith Inc. of Sanford, Fla., is the contractor.
In another utilities matter, City Manager David Treme said the I-85/U.S. 29 sewer project, in limbo for many months, seems to be back on track.
The project still has support from the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission and Rowan County, the funding partner, Treme said. There are concerns that delays have added to the projected costs of the southern sewer line.
“It has had its ups and downs,” Treme said.
Notices have gone out to property owners who would be affected by the sewer line, and things for now have been turned over to right-of-way agents who will be trying to secure easements.
The project then will be bid out. Treme said he anticipated the project to be bid out with various options.

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