Whiff of lunch overpowers sewage plant
Appeal Staff Writer
Lyon County Utilities hosted an open house and barbecue Thursday at an unlikely site – the Rolling A wastewater treatment plant in Dayton.
Wanting to put the smell fears to rest, Rolling A superintendent Skeet Sellers took visitors right to the head frame where raw sewage entered the plant.
It did smell, but not enough to send anyone running.
County Commissioners Phyllis Hunewill, Larry McPherson and Bob Milz joined county employees, contractors and Nevada Department of Environmental Protection representatives for the lunch and a tour of the plant.
“This is the biggest capital improvement that Lyon County has taken on, in-house,” said Mike Workman, Lyon County Utilities director.
Sellers said biofilters and large fans kept the stink down to a minimum, which explains why homes and a school could be built near the plant, located on the edge of the Riverpark subdivision.
Sellers said huge fans draw the odor into the pipe and a biofilter minimizes it.
After the head frame, guests were taken to the grit removal facility, which is used for exactly what it sounds like, removing paper and similar items from the sewage. It smelled a little in there, too, but the smell disappeared about 10 feet away.
Sellers said the plant handles 350,000 gallons of wastewater per day, and once the south plant is closed in late July or early August, it will handle more than 700,000 gallons a day. The plant has a maximum capacity to process 1.1 million gallons a day.
The sewage goes into the system, Sellers said, is aerated four times and then is mixed in sequencing batch reactors with anaerobic micro-organisms that break it down, creating nitrogen gas. Then the organics settle and the treated effluent is removed. The remaining sludge is moved to the sludge pool to be disposed of off-site, most likely to fertilize hay and alfalfa fields.
The effluent is used by Dayton Valley Golf Club at Legado, said John Gonzales of Hunter Engineering.
“They can use all the effluent they can get,” Gonzales said.
He said right now the golf course augments the effluent with well water.
“It’s a good place to put it,” he said. “As more buildings go up and more wastewater is generated, they’ll use more. It just makes a lot of sense.”
The effluent is in purple pipe, and is also used for landscaping around Riverpark.
“This has been in the works for 10 years,” Milz said.
Workman said the utility may hold a similar event at a future date for local residents.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.
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