Sewer plant project now at mid-pointNew lines in place
The long-awaited and much debated $15.7 million sewer system upgrade in Berkeley Springs is more than half-way done, and should be wrapped up by early spring 2008, according to Rodney Hovermale of the Warm Springs Public Service District.
The project, which broke ground in April 2007, involves both a sewer line extension and the construction of a new and larger processing plant.
Almost nine miles of eight-inch collection lines have been added by Glenn Johnston, Inc. of McKeesport, Pa. in the residential areas of Fairview Drive, Lakewood Hills, Martin Terrace and Grove Heights.
Another 1,700 feet of 24-inch interceptor lines have been laid as part of the project as well. As of the end of September, contractors clocked in at 81% project completion.
Beitzel Corporation of Grantsville, Md. is building the sewer district's new $9.6 million plant, which is 44% complete. That part of the project is complicated, in part, because the new facility is being built on the same site as the old plant along U.S. 522 north of Berkeley Springs. The tight construction area means the sewer district will have to build and switch over sewer treatment operations in phases.
One of the two new 18-ft.-deep concrete processing tanks has been built and will be put online at the beginning of November, said Hovermale. Meanwhile, old equipment will fill the gap until the second tank is constructed and working.
When they are both online, the new tanks will quadruple the plant's capacity, which is currently 400,000 gallons per day. The sewer district is permitted for 1.7 million gallons per day, but can't process that much waste with its current equipment.
Sewer treatment will change with the new plant, said Hovermale. The sewer district will be using an ultraviolet disinfecting unit to replace the old chlorine units. That will eliminate the hazard of keeping chemicals on hand, said Hovermale.
He said the project contract puts substantial completion at the end of March, but operations are about a month behind, despite the cooperative weather this fall.