Friday, July 14, 2017

TOP STORY >> Ward breaks ground on sewer

By JEFFREY SMITH Leader staff writer

Ward broke ground Friday for a new $5.8 million Aero-Mod wastewater treatment facility. The plant is off Hwy. 367 behind the animal shelter and next to the old sewer treatment facility.

Construction will begin Monday. The new wastewater plant will be built by Haren Construction of Tennessee and will be operating by August 2018. It can process 1.45 million gallons-per-day and last 40 years before expansion.

It replaces the 24-year-old sewer plant built in 1993 to handle 300,000 gallons-per-day and is now overcapacity processing 600,000 gallons-per-day. The new state-of-the-art plant will use ultraviolet light instead of chlorine for disinfection. “This facility can be expanded and made more energy efficient,” City Engineer Tim Lemons said.

Ward is under litigation with a consent order in 2015 from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to get into compliance on wastewater and the city was required to build a new plant.

The new treatment plant is being funded with two 40-year United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans. One is for 2.37-percent and a second for $1 million at 3.37-percent interest rates.