By Conrad Dudderar
An estimated $5 million upgrade is required at Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant, city leaders have learned.
Improvements are needed to increase capacity due to the community’s ongoing growth, City of Yukon engineers told the Yukon City Council at a July 6th study session.
The City of Yukon would pay for the proposed $5 million plant upgrade through a general obligation bond issue or sales tax increase.
“If we don’t, we’re looking at trouble down the road,” Mayor Shelli Selby said.
Without improvements to the treatment facility, Vice Mayor Rick Cacini warned about “stopped-up toilets” across Yukon.
“Then we’ll go back to how we do it in the military – just get buckets and we burn it,” Cacini said, half-jokingly. “I don’t think the residents here will do that. We’re not going there.”
Joe Davis, Robbie Williams and Don Douglas of TEIM Design discussed a plan to expand the Yukon wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), 501 W Wagner Road. Proposed modifications were outlined in a 23-page Power Point presentation.
“We’re trying to be proactive instead of reactive,” Davis said. “The plant is easily expandable.”
Yukon’s WWTP is rated for 3 million gallons per day (MGD) and current flows are near capacity, council members were advised.
During heavy rains, flows exceed 3 million MGD due to infiltration of storm water into the sanitary sewer collection system.
Yukon’s population of 29,078 makes it Oklahoma’s 16th largest municipality, Douglas noted.
The city is growing at 1.74% annually and its population has increased by 28.05% since 2010, he added.
City engineers took into consideration all undeveloped land in the city limits when they established future WWTP flow requirements.
Because of possible future development and projected growth, the TEIM Design representatives recommended the plant increase capacity to 5 MGD.
“We’re talking about a different type of plant operation, so we are getting a ‘bigger bang out of our buck’,” Davis explained. “5 MGD takes care of us for the developable future for Yukon.”
If funding is approved for an expansion, Yukon’s plant would recategorized by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality from an extended aeration facility to a conventional activated sludge facility.
Williams outlined proposed upgrades to the Yukon WWTP:
- Evaluate screw pumps.
- Upgrade aeration piping and diffusers in the aeration tank.
- Replace blowers.
- Upgrade the final clarifier splitter box to allow use of all three final clarifiers.
- Complete the replacement of clarifier equipment in one clarifier.
- Improve aeration in the sludge digester.
- Improvements to the final effluent discharge to include pumping for wet weather flows.
- Regarding and rehabilitation of the flow equalization ponds.
- Instrumentation and stand-by generator.
Before construction can begin on proposed Yukon WWTP upgrades, officials must develop a modeling plan, sample the North Canadian River at five locations, prepare preliminary plans and specifications, and solicit contractor bids.
‘NOT A SEXY TOPIC’
TEIM Design’s Davis shared a tentative schedule that shows construction starting in May 2023 and project completion in June 2024.
The cost, totaling $5,762,200, could be spread over three fiscal years:
- $310,000 in FY21-22: Sample stream flow, submit modeling plan, prepare engineering report, and prepare preliminary plans (50%).
- $328,000 in FY22-23: Complete preliminary plans (50%), prepare final plans and specifications and bidding process.
- $5,124,200 in FY23-24: Construction (cost opinion), construction administration, as-builts, and construction observation.
“That’s a lot of money to deal with our waste,” Mayor Selby said at the end of the presentation.
Davis told council members that waste is “not a sexy topic” but these upgrades are needed to increase capacity to 5 MGD.
The Yukon WWTP was constructed in 1978 and improvements were made in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2007, and 2014.
The upgrades were: Storm water pump to overflow lagoons, conversion to fine bubble diffusors, new blower building, new fine screen, new belt press building, water re-use system, new clarifier, new clarifier equipment, new clarifier pumps, new screw pump, new screen for larger debris, and fine screen replacement.
The City of Yukon contracts with Veolia Water to operate the city’s plant.