Wastewater churns through one of the two trains at the wastewater treatment plant. (Photo submitted)
Wastewater churns through one of the two trains at the wastewater treatment plant. (Photo submitted)
DELPHOS — Phase III is about to begin at the Delphos Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Phase III is the final build out of the plant and includes establishing new blowers for the system

“Phase I and Phase II used as much of the existing equipment as possible. We used existing blowers, piping and pumps and mixers. What Phase III will do is address that and include the properly-sized blowers, which will be more efficient, and a third membrane cassette train that will increase capacity back up to what the plant was originally designed to do,” Wastewater Superintendent Todd Teman said.

The plant will be brought up to the original design of 3.83 million gallons a day capacity and lower peak wet weather flow/combined sewer overflows that are limited by the EPA.

The technology itself is also more efficient than the original used. The membranes are a hybrid of the plate technology and the noodle technology. The membranes can be pulled out and rinsed off, put back in place and will operate almost like new.

“Cleaning the old technology was very labor-intensive and the performance didn’t come back the way they were when they were new,” Teman said.

The footprint of the newer technology is also smaller.

“They also use less air. Air to me is power,” Teman said. “You have to provide the blower and the newer technology lowers the dependency on pumps and blowers, lowering the plants energy costs. Less equipment also means less service and replacement costs. Our efficiency has improved tremendously.”

The city struggled with the original membranes at the plant from the previous supplier with fouling and hydraulic issues for nearly eight years and received notice in January 2015 from the Ohio EPA of impending findings and orders if the issues were not addressed in a timely manner.

Work at the plant to incorporate new technology and procedures for Phase I was completed mid-December 2015 with the one-year Fibracast Pilot Program beginning in January 2016.

Phase II was completed in 2019 and included smaller intake screens with 1 millimeter pores as well as a second train of membranes. The new screens keep out debris, including leaves, sanitary wipes and more. The screens are self-cleaning.

“I’m excited that we’ve found a solution for the plant that won’t be as taxing to our citizens,” Teman said. “This project has been all about the community and not passing on the costs to fix the problem. We have spaced out the phases so we have a good start on paying for the previous one before we started a new one.”

Phase III is estimated at $6.8 million, including engineering. The city will take a 0% loan for Phase III.

Council will hear the second reading of legislation to start the engineering of Phase III on Monday.