Latest technology on tour at treatment plant open house

THE NEW WAY—In older treatment plants, wastewater sits for a long time so solid parts sink. Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and another chemical removes chlorine. In the new North Kent Sewer Authority treatment plant, ultraviolet lights are used to mutate bacteria so it cannot reproduce. See how the process works at an open house on Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. at 4775 Coit NE, Grand Rapids.

THE NEW WAY—In older treatment plants, wastewater sits for a long time so solid parts sink. Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and another chemical removes chlorine. In the new North Kent Sewer Authority treatment plant, ultraviolet lights are used to mutate bacteria so it cannot reproduce. See how the process works at an open house on Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. at 4775 Coit NE, Grand Rapids.

It was nearly a decade in coming and is one of only a few of its kind in the United States. Residents of the City of Rockford and townships of Alpine, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield have a vested interest in the North Kent Sewer Authority treatment plant at 4775 Coit NE, Grand Rapids. On Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. come see the facility in action.

The authority, comprised of the municipalities listed above, planned the $50 million plant almost ten years ago as a joint venture when they believed they were facing an unfair contract with their previous treatment provider.

 

IT WILL HAPPEN WHEN

IT WILL HAPPEN WHEN-The weather vane at the North Kent Sewer Authority treatment plant is a flying pig.

The 40-year contract was set to expire November of 2008, and the City of Rockford and townships were expected to sign a new contract without even any idea of what the costs would be-except that they were going up. When they threatened to join forces and possibly build and run their own treatment plant, they were told it would happen when pigs fly.

 

That day came October 28, 2008 at 2:39 p.m. when the plant began processing the wastewater for the member communities.

It has it saved over ten million dollars from what the five members’ taxpayers would have been charged with the previous treatment provider. In addition, the new plant has taken 4.3 million gallons a day from a system that was old, leaking, and regularly discharged untreated waste into the Grand River. Now the discharge the plant puts out is cleaner than the waters of the Grand River-all from a natural, Earth-friendly (and odorless) process.

For the first time the public is invited into the normally fenced and locked facility to see the process at work first hand. It is a government success story that shows how leadership in local government can be creative, bold and stand up for taxpayers in seemingly unfair situations.

Visitors to the public open house will be able to visit the four buildings of the plant and see the holding tanks-the equivalent of five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

According to Authority Board Chairman Michael Young, the plant is running incredibly well and came in under budget at $47 million.

The treatment plant uses membrane bio reactor technology that is state-of-the art facility that has had inquiries for tours and information from New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere around the world.

According to Young, the plan was met with scepticism and disregard by the former treatment providers, and also by some of the future members. It seemed like too big a project, too ambitious a plan, for five little governmental entities to pull off. “Everyone said we were crazy and out of control. We probably were a little bit crazy,” he said.

The plant currently treats over four million gallons of wastewater every day and is designed to treat up to eight million before being upgraded. It is estimated that the upgrade will not be required for at least 30 years, and after that the facility can be doubled in capacity on-site. “This plant is built for the future,” Young said.

The open house was originally planned for last fall, but was postponed due to weather. Visitors can get to the plant by crossing the Jupiter Bridge and turning right on Coit Avenue. The facility is on the right hand side of the road past Hunsberger Avenue.

Other Stories from the Squire

Top News…

Michigan ChalleNGe cadet meets Dale Earnhardt Jr. ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Respect, hard work, … [Continue Reading...]

Attention veterans! A call to action. Please stand for those who have fallen.   The Moving … [Continue Reading...]

The Rockford Girls’ Lacrosse team has been ranked number one in the Division One poll for most of … [Continue Reading...]

By JOHN HOGAN Rockford - and most of West Michigan, became a water wonderland last week as a … [Continue Reading...]

More Posts from this Category

In Other News

Knowing Your Competition   by David Broyles SCORE Counselor   Regardless of … [Continue Reading...]

Downtown Rockford was as busy this sidewalk sale week as in past years, despite a heat index of over … [Continue Reading...]

Rockford resident, writer and photographer John Hogan shared this picture with the Squire. The … [Continue Reading...]

David S. Fry

They wrote the book on cottage law—literally Recently, Attorney David S. Fry opened the … [Continue Reading...]

More Posts from this Category

Speak Your Mind

*