Things move forward with wastewater treatment plans

Authored by Jim Langham on Jan 30, 2013

Berne Mayor Bill McKean told city council members on Monday evening that he and several other city officials had experienced a “good meeting” with members of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management at Indianapolis recently concerning the new wastewater treatment mandates.
McKean said that he could sense that IDEM officials were especially pleased with the city’s pursuit a Sager bio-filtration system to address issues concerning effluent limits for ammonia discharge.
“They said they couldn’t guarantee anything, but we could tell that they were very positive about the Sager system,” said McKean.
City officials were instructed originally to submit a preliminary report of IDEM’s call for treatment equipment reforms by Jan. 31 (this Friday). The city is under orders to reduce the ammonia being discharged by 2015.
“The design needs to be completed by Oct. 1,” said McKean. “By Jan. 14, 2014, the construction needs to start. The bidding process will start before then.”
Earlier this year, a group of Berne officials traveled to Lamar, Missouri to view their treatment facility, which is very similar to what the local community will need.
McKean said that a representative from the state’s Revolving Loan Fund had met with city officials earlier in the day. He noted that the RLF is a possibility for financing for the project. He noted that local officials are also applying for a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture which could hold grant possibilities.
McKean noted that Ben Adams of Commonwealth Engineering would be present at the Feb. 11 meeting to discuss the project.
“We will need to sign another contract of design work for the project at the Feb. 11 meeting,” said McKean.
Timothy Yates, project manager of SESCO Group in Indianapolis was present to request permission from city officials to drill two wells on city easement property associated with Schwartz Marathon of Berne.
The wells are part of an ongoing procedural investigation that is often recommended following the removal of fuel tanks at a service station site, said Yates.
Yates said that 11 other such monitoring wells had also been installed on the site, but special approval was needed because the wells will involve city property.
McKean told council members that the Board of Public Works recommended granting approval. Council gave its approval to the project.

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