Deadline approaching for wastewater plant

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

With a deadline a week away the Tucumcari Community Development will approach the city commissioners on Thursday to keep stimulus money in the area.

The city will need to approve the contract for the Phase III construction of the wastewater treatment plant before Feb. 16 deadline to keep the $7.9 million project alive.

“The plant has served us well in the past but it is time for some needed changes,” said Doug Powers director of Tucumcari Community Development.

The contract will be awarded to Samcon Inc, based out of Albuquerque, said Misty Vick, project coordinator on Tuesday.

“We need to get this project under contract and shovel ready before the deadline,” said Vick.

Vick said the money for this project are federal grants and loans from the United States Department of Agriculture and the New Mexico Environmental Department.

“This money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Vick said. “It was not frozen like some of the city’s State Capitol outlay funds. We need to move forward with this project.”

Vick said these improvements and new construction will help to provide a beneficial use of reclaimed water.

“There could be agricultural applications for the reclaimed water,” Vick said. “Currently the water can not be used outright and must go through a discharge process.”

Vick said the discharge process includes state permit and monitoring wells to ensure that surrounding ground water is not effected.

“I think it is important option to be able to reuse the water especially in this area where water is sometimes hard to come by,” Powers said.

Vick said a new solid waste disinfection process will also be added in Phase III. She said an Ultraviolet disinfection process will replace the existing chlorine gas disinfection process.

“The new process will be much safer and many waster water treatment plants in the state are converting to this process,” Vick said. “The existing process uses hazardous chemicals.”

With the completion of Phase III the city will exceed permit requirements, meet anticipated limits for land applications of solids and provide an availability for future expansion.

“This will allow not only for population expansion but expansion in economic development,” Powers said. “We are expanding and improving our system to handle larger requirements.”

Vick said construction of Phase III will take 18 months to complete. She said construction should begin in May after the completion of Phase II which had a $4,680,903 price tag.