Wastewater treatment plant in Lanett to cost more than anticipated

Published 1:45 pm Saturday, January 21, 2023

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LANETT —  Replacing a clarifier at the City of Lanett’s wastewater treatment plant is going to cost a good bit more than originally anticipated. Mayor Jamie Heard and members of the city council expected it to be in the range of $110,000 when they approved the project several weeks ago. They gave the go-ahead believing it would be in that price range but during the replacement, it was discovered that the clarifier was in much worse shape than first thought. It’s going to cost around $57,000 more to get the job done. This will run the total cost to approximately $167,000.

It was approved at Thursday evening’s meeting of the city council.

The city is required to treat its wastewater before releasing it into the Chattahoochee River. A clarifier is an essential piece of equipment to have at the treatment plant.

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The city presently has two clarifiers at the plant, the one being replaced and another one that’s also in aging condition. The one being replaced is close to 50 years old and is heavily corroded. It was originally thought that the unit could be refurbished and put back into service, but in having it removed it was found to be in much worse shape than first thought.

The plant is being operated for the city under contract by private provider Clear Water Solutions. Plant Manager Jeff Ashton was at Thursday’s meeting to explain what needs to be done.

“The entire unit has to be replaced,” he said. “The corrosion is almost completely through it. Being constantly exposed to air and water corrodes it over time. It had lots of structural damage. For an additional $56,000, it can be fabricated well enough to get the job done.”

The scope of the additional work will be to replace the failed upper cage and sludge collection box for the 75-foot-wide clarifier.

The mayor and members of the council were shown photos of the advanced deterioration of the cage and collection box.

In other business, the council rejected the lone bid it received for a garbage collection contract. It was rejected because “the price is excessive and the quality inferior.”

The city will further advertise for the service and seek new bids.

Bids are also being sought for the purchase of new water meters.

The council declared a tractor as surplus equipment. It’s being kept in the big hangar at Lanett airport and is no longer in service. It’s a 3930 New Holland tractor and will be sold to a high bidder.

Several members of the council extended prayers to all those who were impacted by the recent tornadoes.

Council Member Angelia Thomas said that people had been calling her to ask of the city’s limb and brush truck was in service. Rocky Bolt of the Street Department said that it was but that they had lots of limbs and yard debris to pick up.

“There’s just a lot out there to be picked up,” he said. “We will keep making our rounds. It just takes time to get to everyone.”

Thomas said that she had been contacted by elderly residents with high utility bills. “Can we work out payment plans for them?” she asked.