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Wilsonville's wastewater plant open for business

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Wilsonville's new wastewater plant replaces a facility that was built in the 1970s.  Wilsonville has dedicated its new wastewater treatment plant, with city leaders celebrating completion of the long awaited facility that will be operated by private firm CH2M Hill.

The public-private partnership forged over the past several years between the city and CH2M Hill was the subject of as much conversation as the plant itself, which replaces an aging facility built in the 1970s.

“This has been a long time coming,” Wilsonville Public Works Director Delora Kerber told an assembled crowd last Thursday afternoon.

Wilsonville residents who once phoned in regular odor complaints to city hall will no doubt agree. The new plant will now be operated by CH2M Hill going forward as part of a so-called design-build-operate scheme city officials hope will save the city money in personnel and operating costs.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Wilsonville city councilors (L-R, Susie Stevens, Mayor Tim Knapp, Richard Goddard and Scott Starr) cut the ribbon during the dedication of Wilsonvilles new wastewater plant. The original goals for the project were set in 2007, city Capital Projects Manager Eric Mende said at a recent city council meeting. At that time, he explained, the city was looking to “maximize the life of the facility,” which was upgraded from its original configuration a number of times as the city grew.

In 2008, the Wilsonville City Council voted to approve a design-build-operate scheme in which a private company would be hired to design and build the new plant and run it once completed. In July 2011 CH2M Hill was chosen by the city to carry out the project. Construction started three months later and has since been carried out more rapidly than planned.

The new plant will be able to treat up to four million gallons of wastewater a day, with a capacity for expanding the plant to treat up to seven million gallons per day.

“We wanted to make sure we had the capacity to expand for our businesses, as well as making sure that our plant was a good neighbor,” Kerber said.

The new facility includes two new structures: a dewatering and drying building, and a head works building. There are five additional major structures, including a new aeration basin, stabilization basin, clarifier, a bio-tower and ultraviolet light channel structure. All of these are used in the various stages of treating raw sewage before it is discharged as clean water into the Willamette River.

In addition, upgraded drying and dewatering equipment now allows the plant to transform raw sewage into Class A bio-solids, as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency, which can be used as fertilizer at local nurseries and other agricultural operations that do not produce food for human consumption. Previously, the old plant turned out Class B bio-solids, which contain higher levels of bacteria.

The city originally set a budget of $41.8 million for the design and construction of the project. Current estimates, however, show that CH2M Hill will come in 11 percent below that figure for those services at around $38.24 million.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The new wastewater plant replaces a facility that was built in the 1970s.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Wilsonville's new wastewater plant was dedicated last week and will be run by CH2M Hill.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The new head works building shown here is one of two brand new structures built as part of Wilsonvilles new wastewater treatment plant.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The wastewater clarifier shown here is part of Wilsonvilles new $44 million wastewater treatment plant dedicated last week at a public ceremony.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The new head works building shown here is one of two brand new structures built as part of Wilsonvilles new wastewater treatment plant.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The new drying and dewatering building shown at left is one of two brand new structures built as part of Wilsonville's new wastewater treatment plant.




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