A panel of project developers from a Kalamazoo engineering firm on Tuesday gave the Hudson City Council several options to improve the city’s aging wastewater treatment plant.
The facility along Mechanic Street on the southeast side of Hudson was last updated in 1987 and is struggling to maintain an acceptable level of performance, city officials said. Fleis and VandenBrink Engineering Inc. was tasked by the city to research and develop options to bring the plant’s capabilities up to current standards.
The plant daily processes approximately 360,000 gallons of wastewater and is rated for 420,000 gallons daily. Several rain events last year pushed the limits of the plant, at one time processing 1.61 million gallons in 24 hours. Last year, the city worked with engineers to confirm that stormwater runoff enters the system from places not set up for proper intake and therefore is taxing the aging wastewater network.
Research to determine those weak areas — including underground inspections and smoke tests — have been paid for with $266,000 in two separate grants, officials said.
Elaine Venema and Josh Redner from Fleis and VandenBrink presented several options to the council, as well as projected costs:
— No. 1: Take no action at no cost, but infrastructure will continue to deteriorate.
— No. 2: Decommission the Hudson plant and pump wastewater to a nearby facility instead, such as Hillsdale, at an unknown dollar amount but deemed to be “expensive.”
— No. 3: Optimize the existing facilities without locating the source of improper wastewater inflow, and enlarging a retaining pond at an estimated cost of $7 million.
— No. 4: Improve the existing facilities and include inflow and influent line repair at a cost of
— No. 5: Build a new treatment plant for approximately $14.34 million and remove part of an adjacent soccer field to accommodate an enlarged facility.
Venema and Redner said Fleis and VandenBrink recommends the city consider option No. 4.
That option, officials said, could be expected to increase residential bills by about $17 a month to help pay for the improvements. Residential users currently pay $23.57 a month, based on 4,000 gallons per month usage. The new monthly bill would be $40.57.
The council is expected to review the information presented at Tuesday’s meeting and consider a course of action as early as next month’s meeting.
Venema and Redner suggested a project time line that includes presenting a plan to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality by May. Approval of those plans would be expected by
February 2017, with construction work to begin in June of that year. Expected completion would be by November 2018.