The roughly $40 million project to rehab Carson City’s Water Resource Recovery Facility is nearing completion.
Next month, the odor control system for the headworks where the waste water enters the treatment plant will be turned on, reducing the familiar smell that emanates from the 5th Street facility.
“The odor comes from different processes, but the headworks is one of the worst offenders,” said Andy Hummel, wastewater utility manager, Public Works. “We just had a construction update meeting, talking about how to balance the airflow. We’ll be turning it on mid-August.”
The control system will run 24 hours a day but shouldn’t be heard outside of the plant, said Hummel.
“It’s like a fan in your furnace but bigger,” said Hummel.
In addition to programming and turning on the odor control system, work on three of five clarifiers, or settling tanks, is still being juggled.
“We can’t take the third one out (to work on it) until the first one goes back online,” said Hummel.
The plant’s roads and parking lots have all been repaved, internal piping upsized, and electrical work done. Some of the electrical work was postponed to stay within the project’s $9.7 million budget.
Hummel expects the project to be completed by late October or early November.
“Everything else is ongoing upkeep,” he said.
This part of the project followed the initial $30 million phase started in 2016 and completed in 2017, about a year ahead of schedule. The main part of that phase was the construction of two, 20-foot-tall concrete tanks called bioreactors that replaced the plant’s aerated pond system, which was also a source of odor.
Both phases of the project were constructed by K.G. Walters Construction and Q&D Construction Inc.
The project didn’t increase capacity at the plant. It is permitted and capable of processing 6.9 million gallons of waste water daily and currently handles 5 million gallons.
But, it did improve the output.
“The water is cleaner coming out,” said Hummel. “That sets us up well for the future, for other opportunities.”
The department this week issued a request for qualifications for a consultant to develop an effluent master plan, which should be completed by mid-2020.
Right now, the effluent is stored in Brunswick Canyon in the winter and used by the Nevada State Prison Farm, and three golf courses — the city-owned Eagle Valley Golf Course, and Empire Ranch Golf Course and Silver Oak Golf Course, both privately owned, during the summer.
The master plan, a guidance document, will look at different scenarios for effluent use in the event the city loses any of the current customers.
Possibilities for it include rapid infiltration basins on city-owned land.
“The treatment we have now would be sufficient,” said Hummel.
Other ideas are for industrial cooling as is or, with further treatment, injecting it into the ground for indirect potable reuse as is done in Orange County, Calif., and not yet done anywhere in Nevada, said Hummel.
“We’re a ways from the that,” he said.