Clarkton opens new sewage treatment plant

Old sewage treatment plant in Clarkton. (Source: Schultz Surveying and Engineering)
Old sewage treatment plant in Clarkton. (Source: Schultz Surveying and Engineering)
New sewage treatment plant in Clarkton. (Source: Schultz Surveying and Engineering)
New sewage treatment plant in Clarkton. (Source: Schultz Surveying and Engineering)

CLARKTON, MO (KFVS) - Clarkton Mayor Greg Reynolds, Alderman Larry Brown and Schultz Surveying and Engineering Project Manager Marvin Nesbit were on hand to officially open the new Clarkton sewage treatment plant Thursday.

Residents are now using the new wastewater treatment facility. Their old oxidation ditch was built in the 1970s and began having problems serving the City's 520 homes and businesses. The oxidation ditch had many cracks in the outer wall that allowed seepage of the sewage and the primary clarifier was not functional. The terminal lift station only had one pump and many valves at the plant did not work resulting in virtually no redundancy in the facility. These problems resulted in numerous citations from the Department of Natural Resources.

"I can't say enough about how helpful Schultz Surveying and Engineering was during this whole process," Mayor Reynolds said. "It was nice having a company help us who understood the process and knew all the key players involved. Their experience was one of the main reasons we were able to pass the bond issue and get so much support from government agencies such as DNR and USDA-Rural Development."

In 2009, Schultz Surveying and Engineering evaluated the system and identified what funding was needed to replace the plant.

"The problems Clarkton's older system was experiencing are similar to what we have seen in other communities in Missouri," Nesbit said. "We enjoy designing projects that keep sewer rates low for the residents and keep communities in compliance with all the DNR rules and regulations."

After a careful review of all the problems with the old treatment plant, SSE put together a design that addressed all the deficiencies. They also developed preliminary designs and cost estimates for the project that were made available to the public. Once the voters looked at the new design and the option to use public financing in order to keep sewer rates low, they passed a $2.5 million dollar bond issue at the April 2009 election.

After the bond was successfully passed, a Preliminary Engineering Report was submitted to the Missouri Water and Wastewater Review Committee in October of 2009. SSE then worked with USDA-Rural Development to secure a $1.5 million low interest loan and grant funding of $1.5 million for Clarkton.

The project plans were completed in March 2011 and submitted to both USDA-Rural Development and the Missouri DNR. The plans were approved in June 2011 and Rural Development authorized the project to be advertised. Construction was started on the project in February 2012 and completed in July 2013.

The goal was to design a low maintenance system that would be easy to operate and could handle the cities current load but still allow for future growth. Additionally, there would be features that would ensure this system would keep the city compliant with future regulations.

"This plant is much easier to operate and they were able to include a generator that will allow us to keep operating even when the power is down," said plant operator Jason Wiseman.

The treatment plant for the City of Clarkton is an extended aeration type waste water treatment system that features the patented SEQUOX Biological Nutrient Removal Process. This is achieved by sequencing the aeration with continuous clarification. The facility was designed for an average flow of 200,000 gallons per day. It consists of two treatment trains, each containing an aeration basin, clarifier, and an aerobic digester.

"Small towns like Clarkton need treatment systems that have few moving mechanical parts and very little maintenance," said SSE owner Stan Schultz. "This lowers operational costs and saves them money. This is a state of the art facility that is very cost effective to operate."

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