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The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Wildwood’s expanding wastewater system has stinking problem

Wildwood’s expanding wastewater system has a stinking problem.

Utilities Superintendent Jason Martin told commissioners at a special meeting Monday that wastewater takes so long to get to the treatment plant that it produces odorous gases that smell and degrade manhole covers and other equipment.

The system extends 8.7 miles to the north and 7.9 miles to the south of the treatment plant on the city’s west side.

The city’s rapid growth has boosted wastewater handling expenses including a $150 million cost to upgrade the current treatment plant and build a new one next to it.

Martin said an odor unit at the treatment plant is working properly, but does nothing to reduce odors that seep out of air vents along the piping system.

A solution is to treat the wastewater with a calcium nitrate chemical at various points along the route.

“Instead of spending money on an odor unit, let’s treat the entire system,” he said.

Martin said a consultant will determine the best locations to inject the chemical.

Another problem is a lack of oxygen at the treatment plant that causes it to operate less efficiently.

Martin said the solution is to install oxygen screens that will increase oxygen, which is needed for bacteria that neutralizes the wastewater.

Expansion of Wildwood’s wastewater treatment capacity will increase the system’s daily flow to 5.5 million gallons. The new expandable plant will process 3.5 million gallons daily and upgrading the current plan will allow it to process up to 1.5 million gallons daily.

Most of the cost will be covered by a bond issue that will be repaid over a number of years. The city also received a $9.5-million state grant and is seeking other funding. Wastewater fees for residents also were increased.

 

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