Waste Water Treatment Plant Needs Major Repairs to Prevent Possible Catastrophic Failures

Updated 6 years ago by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter

Painting “not a pretty picture,” Mayor Steve Williams told council that the Huntington Sanitary Board has not met many benchmarks of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Policy.

"I'll state this bluntly. it's absolutely imperative that we respond to it brutally and honestly," Williams said.

A report by Potesta Engineering reveals infrastructure issues at the Waste Water Treatment Plant and elsewhere.

 Highlights of the report include:

“Sinkholes have developed from pipe separation at the beginning of the WWTP effluent pipe,” the report stats , adding that the pipes have been temporarily fixed with “manhole rehabilitation materials.”

Outside of the plant, a “cavern” has developed  under  the corrugated metal  effluent line. Potestra attributes “pipe buckling from past heavy loading and a hole at the bottom of the pipe.”  End sections have been damaged by tow strikes.

They recommend that the pipe be repaired quickly otherwise more sinkholes and “a riverbank collapse” could occur, which could potentially “undercut” and result in the “failure of WWTP exterior wall structures.”

At the time of pipe replacement, the company recommends a “diffuser consisting of multiple discharge points” be added to the effluent pipe. The HSB has told the engineering firm future waste treatment permit standards “may” be exceeded (e.g. phenols). The report anticipates stricter Ohio River discharge limits and regulation of a “pollutant previously not regulated.”

A  fly ash lagoon at the WWTP would be converted to a bioretention basin. The lagoon is no longer needed since the sludge incinerator is not used. Clean up and remedial action will be necessary prior to the conversion.

Two scenarios have catastrophic implications.

A 54 inch pipe crossing the levee adjacent to the WWTP is split and leaking. Described as a “force main” with “pressure” on it, failure could result in sewage from Huntington, Northern Wayne,  and parts of Ceredo (14 million gallons a day) “discharging to the ground.”

Finally, 50-year—old piping, pumps, and valves  an improved shutdown pump, and a new electrical system is needed for the 13th Street West pump station. Some rehabilitation was completed in April 2011.


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