Sewage treatment plant overhaul is underway

A two-year project to renew and upgrade the City of Warren’s Sewage Treatment facility is well underway, to replace the 50-plus year old facility.

Tim Morgan and Francis Baran, operators at the facility, explained some of the work being done.

Morgan said excavation for a new pump building has been going on since the first of the year, and Baran added that there have been five tri-axle trucks hauling away dirt continuously, 10 to 12 hours a day.

“After the fifth one leaves, the first is ready to be reloaded,” he said.

Steel has been erected along the walls of the excavation, and rebar has been wrapped around the base in the interior. A concrete band will be poured all the way around, to serve as a support so another 12 and a half feet can be removed. Morgan said the hole will be around 40-feet deep when they begin to pour the floor.

The tank will serve as both the foundation for the pump facility and will be the entry point from sewage pumped from the Sill and Clark Street stations, as well as a gravity-flow from the South Side.

Other parts of the project will provide another set of tanks, called an “oxidation ditch,” and there will be a new building constructed for two emergency generators and blowers, according to Morgan.

Before the project is completed, Morgan said contractors will “Punch two new lines under the river, one from Sill Street, and another from the Clark Street to Biddle Street.” He said they will be 18-inch pipes.

Mike Holtz, Public Works director, added that the yard waste and compost that had been accepted at the Harmar Street facility is now being accepted at the city garage on Elm Street.

“Once construction is done, we will re-visit the issue,” he said. He added that work should be completed by the end of 2015, and that most of the existing plant will be demolished.

Morgan noted the new plant will depend on aerobic treatment, or oxygenation, where the current facility uses both aerobic and anaerobic decomposition.