Sewer plant to get a new warning system

Though the sewer plant in Silver Springs is working well, a control system used to alert workers about possible problems needs to be replaced.

The Lyon County Commission, acting as ex officio members of the Silver Springs General Improvement District, on Thursday agreed to pay $65,000 to replace the system with one compatible with other Lyon County Equipment.

Utilities Director Mike Workman said the Supervisory Control and Data Activation, is supposed to control the aeration, pump speed, pump volume and chemical release of the plant, and contacts workers when there is a malfunction. However, he said, it hasn't been calling out any alarms.

He said repairing the existing system is not possible, as it was a small system, designed only for that plant, and the people who designed it are no longer available.

"The person that designed the software has died, and the other person who could work with it has been deployed to Iraq," Workman said.

He wants to replace the data system with one already in use in Dayton, so that Utilities workers can control the plant from the main office. Workman said his employees took some equipment from the mothballed South Plant to use for now.

The system has lost a lot of its function, said Skeet Sellers, Lyon Utilities wastewater superintendent.

"It no longer calls out any alarms, so it's in a crisis mode right now," he said. "We're putting a Band-Aid on it right now, an auto dialer, so that if there is an alarm, it will call someone."

Sellers said it will take between 16 and 24 weeks to have the correct system installed.

Comptroller Josh Foli said the district does have the funds to make the changes.

Overall, Workman said, a complete analysis shows the Silver Springs plant is working well. He said the plant is in full compliance with the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection regulations, the effluent program is operating effectively and his staff has reduced expenses at the plant significantly.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.


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