Washburn looks into wastewater study

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

With a grant the city will pay $12,500 of the $62,000 project

TREKK Engineering has placed a bid for the request for qualifications with the city of Washburn to perform a wastewater engineering study for $62,500.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will cover $50,000 of the cost, with a grant leaving the city responsible for $12,500.

Emily Arnett, Washburn city clerk, said there is still a lot paperwork that needs to be submitted for the projects.

“We are working with the company to see how our wastewater and sewer works,” she said. “I had to submit an application to DNR to do the study, and we are still in the process of that application process.

“We needed to decide on a company to use so we could tell DNR and we could move forward, so the board decided to go with TREKK Engineering.”

Arnett said it could take up to three months to get that paperwork processed through DNR.

James Libertus, city of Washburn maintenance supervisor, said a former DNR employee who now works for TREKK Engineering had spoken with him before about inflow and infiltration issues.

“We are still pretty far out in the application process of the project,” he said. “But, if all goes according to plan, we should be able to start in March next year.”

The project will take place in phases after it is started.

“The point to this is for them to get in there and tell us if we have any problems and where they are,” Libertus said. “We will be able to follow along and learn things for ourselves too, like better ways to detect an issue and flow testing.”

The system will also be smoke tested.

“It will be a learning process for all of us,” Libertus said. “We don’t have any major issues that we know about, but this will help us find the things that we haven’t yet.”

Libertus said he isn’t sure at the time what the time line will look like after the survey in regard to how long the city will have to correct any issues.

“If we find a problem we will fix it,” he said.

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