Wastewater treatment plant equipment failure will cost Helena at least $ 1 million | Local


Equipment failure at the Helena wastewater treatment plant will cost at least $ 1 million to repair.

On September 4, a 35-ton cover on a 300,000-gallon digester “tilted badly” causing the system to fail. It does not appear that there was an operator error, but the exact cause of the failure is not yet known.

The cost of fixing the problem will range between $ 1 million and $ 1.5 million, according to interim city manager Dennis Taylor.

Digesters stabilize solid waste and help break it down. The failed cover helps prevent methane from escaping.

The Helena wastewater treatment plant has two digesters, only one of which is currently in operation. But from 1996 to 2006, the city operated on a single digester, Taylor said.

He said the city plans to replace the cover in 2022. Instead, city officials will re-prioritize some planned projects to incorporate necessary repairs to the digester.

The authorities are considering postponing the Custer Avenue main sewer expansion project.

“It may not put any pressure on the capital improvement plan,” Taylor said. “It has already been identified as a project, so we will recommend the replacement of the tilted cover to start this year.”


Leon E. Hill

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