by GEOFF FOX
Town officials received a preliminary engineering report on the wastewater facility project from RK&K, the engineering firm who will be doing the work.
RK&K projects the project to be completed by November 2023.
In a packet given to town officials, RK&K outlined the areas of focus of their report, an evaluation of the collection system, system rehabilitation, the current state of the pumping stations, rehabilitation of the pumping stations, system extension, and multiple upgrades.
John Cole, Manager at RK&K, said the update at the October town meeting was the first time town officials as a whole have heard about the efforts the company has been doing for the town.
Rhiannon Dodge, associate engineer with RK&K, said the report was focused on the current condition of the town’s wastewater system, what needs to be done to fix the system, and how much it will cost.
Dodge said the company went through record drawings to know how old a system is.
When RK&K looked at Hancock’s system, they found it to be made of brick and lines that showed how old the system really is.
A comprehensive map will be made for future use and so officials would know where everything is. Other work will include manhole inspections, line inspections to see where laterals and connections are, and smoke testing.
The current system handles 90,000 gallons a day of “clear flow” — which is rain fall or ground water that gets in the system.
Once they figure out what’s wrong, Dodge said there would be manhole replacements, lining, repair, and frame and cover replacement. There would also be sewer lining and line replacement.
The town has four pump stations, with three located along and visible from Main Street.
Dodge said the current conditions make them look like pump stations and not very attractive to those passing by.
The concrete is deteriorating, parts are corroding, there are no safety grates on wet walls, and hydrogen sulfide/odor issues have been identified at the stations.
Dodge said the hydrogen sulfide gets built up in the system and causes a lot of these problems.
With RK&K’s plan, these pump stations would also be rehabilitated with concrete repair; pump, rail, piping replacement; safety grate installation; chemical dosing for odor issues; and aesthetic enhancement.
Should Lanco Pennland cheese plant come on to the town’s system, Dodge said a pump station would be constructed near the cheese factory as well.
The town is in the process of annexing land around the cheese factory, taking town services to a business park.
Kelly Duffy, Senior Manager, said the town has been having issues in meeting environmental permits for the wastewater treatment plant.
She said there isn’t much the town could do without switching to a mechanical type system to get the nutrients into the system to reach the existing ammonia limits.
Through the Bay Restoration Fund Grant, the town can upgrade to enhanced nutrient removal, or ENR.
The current lagoon system is not up to task in meeting limits and needs to be upgraded, Duffy said.
It was recommended the town move to a mechanical system.
Under the mechanical system, there would be a liquid treatment facility for batch reactor system and denitrification filters.
This would have two basins with post equalization tanks and four continuous backwash filter cells.
The construction would be on the north side of the current lagoon and consist of a common wall construction.
During construction, the current lagoon system would still be active.
There would also be a solids treatment facility.
Here there would be aerobic digesters/sludge holding tanks with common wall construction, a dewatering process using a screw press, a new building to house the screw press and polymer system, and it would then be hauled to the landfill.
Duffy said there would be an ancillary upgrades as well.
Also included in the report was a drawing of a possible Public Works building to be constructed close to the dump on Hess Road.
The engineering company will submit its preliminary engineering report for review by November 9, followed by a review workshop on November 18.
The final submission for the PER and engineering report is set for December 11.
In January 2021, the design phase efforts will start, with design to be complete by September 2021.
By March 2022, a Notice to Proceed could be issued to a construction contractor. RK&K is projecting the new system upgrades will be substantially complete by September 2023, with final completion in November 2023.