Friday, April 7, 2006
Wastewater plant ready to go on line
Awaiting final DEP approval
After ten years in the making, the school wastewater project is nearly complete and the plant is expected to start operating in the next few weeks. The system was tested this week by engineering design firm HTA and J. D'Amico construction, the company that built it.
The tests are to prepare for next Thursday when the state Department of Environmental Protection will run its own clear water test of the system's operation. Once the system passes its tests, the DEP can certify the plant for operation and it can start to do its work of processing the school's wastewater.
The construction project will complete on time, according to School Business Manager Steve Moore. Construction began last July after school let out for the summer. Trenches were dug and pipes were installed from the school down across the Spalding playing fields, along Church Street and Bedford Road and up beside the Banta-Davis driveway to the plant site.
The school has signed a three-year maintenance contract with Sampson Services of Peabody to operate the plant. The $55,000 a year contract is for a licensed operator who will perform daily, weekly, and monthly sampling and monitoring of the plant's operations to comply with the DEP's groundwater discharge permit. The operator must give the school a monthly report summarizing the plant's operations. Maintenance also includes taking monthly groundwater samples from three wells drilled at Banta-Davis to monitor the plant's operation. It will cost an additional estimated $7,000 annually for electricity and propane operating costs.
In 1996 the school septic system under Spalding Field failed state Title 5 technical regulations. The project at the Banta-Davis site has been held up in the decade since by an abutter's lawsuit, the need to design a wastewater plant rather than a septic field due to increased school enrollments, a lengthy engineering and permitting process, and high construction bids.
© 2006 The