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Upgrades OKed for sewage plant
Old, outdated cleaning systems to be replaced
water plant
Pictured is the Great Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City Council Monday night approved replacing vital systems at the facility. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Much needed improvements are coming to the City of Great Bend’s waste water treatment plant, improvements that will extend the facility’s life and keep the city in compliance with Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations.

First, the City Council Monday night approved bid from the Ray Lindsey Company,  Belton, Mo., for $164,844 for the purchase of a grit chamber and classifier for the water treatment plant. 

“This is where the sewage first comes into the plant,” Utilities Superintendent Reuben Martin said. The device separates particles like sand and grit from the incoming material going further down the system, and causing premature wear on the walls, mixer paddles, sensors, etc.

The current system is a Smith and Loveless Pista Grit system and dates back to 1979, and has not been operational for two or three years, Martin said. This means that the materials it needs to remove have been bypassing the system and wearing on the treatment plant.

“This was in the budget for 2023,” he said. But, the need is more pressing.

Second, approved was a bid from Ray Lindsey $191,000 for the purchase of the ultraviolet system for the treatment facility.

The current system is a 1998 Trojan 3000 Classic which was put in when the plant was updated, but is currently obsolete, Martin said. The parts are no longer being produced, which makes existing parts highly marked up. 

This is the process of using ultraviolet light to disinfect plant effluent before it goes into the Arkansas River. This is mandated to prevent the city from violating KDHE water quality standards.

“Not all the lights are working and as such, we have pieced together parts to make the system work properly,” he said. “We run all our effluent at this time through one side of the two-channel system.”

The new one would allow them to have one side completely rebuilt new, then the following year to replace the other side at a reduced cost. To replace both sides at one time would cost over $300,000, he said.

This system would need no further modification of the plant since it is the same company and brand, but the newest version, he said. “Because of this we can upgrade in stages instead of having to replace the whole system at once.”

The other half will be upgraded either next year or in 2022. 

For both projects, the replacement equipment are updated versions of the ones already in use. Also, there will be no interruption in service and the plant will continue to be in operation.

Purchasing the grit chamber at the same time and from the same vendor saves the city $10,000 on the ultra violet system, making the actual cost $181,000, Martin said.