Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, May 15, 2000

Waverly, Montrose may share wastewater facility

By Andrea Vargo

A shared wastewater treatment facility is a possibility for the cities of Waverly and Montrose in the next two years.

Representatives from the Montrose and Waverly City Councils heard a presentation for a regional facility by Seth Peterson from the engineering firm Bolton and Menk, Thursday.

Many cities are combining for more efficient, economical, and environmentally responsible wastewater treatment, Peterson said.

Relating background to the project, Peterson said that Montrose has potential for significant growth, and its wastewater treatment facility has to be able to accommodate this growth.

In addition to its own growth, Montrose is exploring an option for a regional treatment solution serving Montrose, Waverly, and 12 Hi Estates, the mobile home park between the cities on Highway 12.

The Montrose council authorized the preparation of a planning document for treatment facility improvements, Peterson explained.

Since both cities need to upgrade their facilities in the next three years or so and plan for growth, it is a good time to explore the possibility of regionalization, he said.

Montrose and Waverly are projected to have a 20 percent increase in population over the next 20 years, and that could be conservative, Peterson said.

Also, new regulations will require some upgrades to the facilities.

Peterson told the councils that one treatment facility is easier to maintain, and there is one discharge point which reduces environmental impacts.

Regionalization is favored by state and federal agencies and provides more funding opportunities, he said.

Preliminary capital costs for Montrose to meet new standards and upgrade its facility are $2 to $3 million. Waverly is about the same.

Depending on the plan chosen, the joint facility will probably run from $3 to $6 million.

Peterson presented the councils with four alternative plans, all of which transport wastewater to Montrose for treatment.

The first alternative would expand stabilization ponds in Montrose, provide chemical feed for phosphorous removal, and would maximize the existing facility. It would have a spring/fall discharge. This will have a capital cost of about $4,286,000, he said. Operation and maintenance costs will be approximately $95,000.

Alternative number two adds a high intensity aeration basin, aeration in the first primary pond, and the remaining ponds will be used for polishing, he said.

It will have a final clarifier for phosphorous removal and provide biosolids storage. It also maximizes existing facilities and has continuous discharge. The capital cost will be about $2,859,000, and operation and maintenance costs are about $140,000, Peterson noted.

The third plan is regionalization with Buffalo, requires a new lift station in Montrose, and a forcemain from Montrose to Buffalo. A substantial connection fee will be required, he said. This plan will cost about $6,168,000, and operation and maintenance is about $211,500 per year.

The last possibility is a mechanical treatment facility in Montrose, that will also use existing ponds for flow equalization and has continuous discharge. This capital cost is about $3,457,000, and operation and maintenance will run about $145,000 per year, Peterson said.

Taking all things into consideration, option number three has the lowest annual costs of about $350,500, he noted.

The cities need to draft a letter of intent by the first part of August, in order to apply for funding and grants, Montrose City Engineer Chuck Pettipiece told the councils.

Public information meetings need to take place, and the councils will possibly want to form a joint powers commission for the new facility, he said.

Waverly City Engineer Brad DeWolf told the group that the facility will be paid for by future growth, not by current residents. Sewer connection fees will be higher for new users, but they will not turn away growth if they are reasonable, he said.

"I think we are conservative on the population projection," he said.

A joint meeting to present the project to the public will take place Thursday, June 15 at 7 p.m. at the Waverly Village Hall.

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