Count the Hannibal Board of Public Works among those that love knocking items off its “to do” list.
Count the Hannibal Board of Public Works among those that love knocking items off its “to do” list, especially when the item would have cost a significant amount of money. News of such a change was shared recently by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources with the BPW.
Bob Stevenson, general manager of the BPW, told the BPW Board at last week’s meeting that the DNR has “tentatively” agreed to not require that a new contact basin be part of the city’s wastewater treatment plant disinfection project. It had been anticipated by the BPW’s engineer on the project, Black and Veatch, that the new basin would be required as part of the upgrade, based on past comments from the state agency.
According to Stevenson, removing the basin from the scope of the work needed for the BPW to meet the new standards outlined in the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit will save in the neighborhood of $1 million.
“One down and $59 (million) to go,” wrote Stevenson in a memo, referring to the total estimated cost of government-mandated upgrades that the BPW is expected to make in the future.
Under the guidelines of the new permit, the BPW will have to add de-chlorination equipment at its wastewater treatment plant.
The compliance date for the disinfection portion of the new permit is a little over a year away - Dec. 31, 2013. However, since disinfection is only required during the recreational season, the system would not have to be operational until April 1, 2014.
Once a report on the BPW’s planned compliance upgrades has been completed it will be sent to the DNR for review and comment before the design of the needed improvements will be started.
The BPW is now dealing with a single DNR rep, who will be the coordinator for all Hannibal related permits and violations resulting in possible penalties. The BPW sent a letter to the DNR last month requesting that a single individual be assigned as their contact person, noting that when dealing with multiple DNR staff members the BPW was “getting mixed signals and (was) thus confused about just what projects DNR thought were critically important.”
After initially indicating that the contact basin would be necessary, the DNR had a change of heart during its recent meeting with the BPW. The state agency reported that the “initial response was provided by a person not assigned to Hannibal projects” and thus their decree that a basin would be necessary is not applicable.