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Village Board eyes plans to improve wastewater plant

The Ellsworth Village Board is looking at alternatives and plans to help improve the village wastewater treatment plant, contingent on receiving grant and stimulus money.

Such plans were discussed by the board Monday. The village is submitting grant applications for funding to make upgrades to the plant. The village is not under any Department of Natural Resources (DNR) order to do so, but is planning for contingencies depending on funding levels. It also could either do nothing for now or make smaller fixes to meet immediate needs.

Immediate needs would include handling excess centrates from the biosolids facilities in the East End Industrial Park. One alternative, favored by Village Public Works Director Greg Engeset, would be to use the existing trickling filter and replace the current rocks in the basin with a plastic median. He said this plan would be the lowest cost in terms of operation and maintenance, and would eliminate worker overtime and reduce potential health issues.

However, engineers from the SEH firm in Chippewa Falls told board members that, even if small upgrades are made to the plant, it could not handle both excess centrates from the biosolids plant plus population growth at the current rate by 2030. A new plant would be needed by then.

No action was taken on the reports handled by the water and sewer committee. Board members agreed to set a special meeting for Thursday, March 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the village hall to discuss these proposals further.

For more please read the March 3 print version of the Herald.