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Ridgeland aims for better water system

 

The town of Ridgeland is working to reconstruct its water treatment system.

Water treatment is broken into two categories: water treatment and wastewater treatment. Water treatment takes water from the environment and treats it, according to federal and state standards, and sends that water to communities for use. Wastewater treatment takes sewer waste and treats it, according to federal and state standards, and releases it into the environment.

According to town administrator Dennis Averkin, the town’s biggest problem with their wastewater system is the inflow and infiltration (I&I) within the sewer pipes. The town plans examine lines at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution and expand the water treatment plant. The town also wants to gain a better understanding of non-revenue water, examples are people illegally tapping water lines, broken water lines and faulty water meters.

The town hired two engineering firms, Four Waters Engineering and Goldie Associates, at its meeting last Thursday to oversee and carry out the program. The companies will tackle I&I, excessive sludge, building a new system complying with the Captain Bill Creek Permit, prison waste, and update aerators and liners.

The town estimates the engineering cost will be between 6 percent to 9 percent of the total project cost.

Currently the I&I wastewater system is being surveyed and evaluated, and once that data is collected the firms will begin work. Averkin says they hope to see major progress in the next 12 months.

“The goal is to eliminate stormwater infiltration into the sewer lines, which are old,” said Averkin in an email. “Some of them date to the 1940s. In essence, we are treating a lot of stormwater at the wastewater treatment facility – the goal is to eliminate that and gain treatment capacity.”

The town will also build a Capital Improvement Program, or CIP, in parallel with the I&I evaluation that will rehabilitate sewer lines and tackle assets understanding.

The next step of the project will be an expansion on the wastewater treatment facility.

By the end of expansion, the facility should be able to treat 1 million gallons per day, up from 0.8 million gallons per day.

“We also plan to eliminate the sprayfields and convert the plant to a direct discharge facility,” Averkin said. “Doing so means we have to add a lot of improvements to improve the discharge quality to pre-determined levels (as mandated by DHEC). This will save the town $100K per year starting in 2018.”

The final step will be to replace the water meters. These meters act as cash registers – they evaluate how much water is available and being used. One of the major things the town is interested in is determining if the town water supply has been illegally tapped – stealing water and money from the taxpayers.

Blue Heron Amphitheater

The Blue Heron Nature trail has a new amphitheater available as a concert venue. The town booked the Blue Stone Ramblers, a bluegrass group, for April 26 at 6 p.m.

Admission is free. The town hopes to attract more performers and make the amphitheater a destination spot.

**This article was updated to clairfy information about wastewater I&I and non-revenue water with input from Town Administrator Dennis Averkin** 

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