Twin Lakes moving forward with wastewater treatment facilities upgrade

An aerial view of the Twin Lakes Wastewater Treatment Plant

Upgrades to the Twin Lakes village wastewater treatment system are moving forward.

An overview of the project was given at a public hearing at the regular Village Board meeting last week.

Planning for the project has been underway for much of this year. The current plan calls for construction to begin in 2021 and for completion in 2022.

The total cost of the project will be $13.9 million. About $2.1 million in cash reserves will be applied toward the cost. The balance of the cost will be financed with low-interest loan funding from the Wisconsin Clean Water Fund program. Grants will also be sought.

“I’m planning for nothing and hoping for something,” Greg Droessler, the village’s consulting engineer, said of the possibility of landing a grant

A projection of impact on sewer rates calls for a $3.50 per quarter increase, said Droessler. Any increase would start no sooner than 2022.

The village’s wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1955. Its last expansion took place in 1999. The system’s structures are 20 to 65 years old, and equipment is mostly 20-plus years old. Limited sludge storage is currently available, meaning sludge has to be trucked out frequently.

The project will include upgrades to some village lift stations — which pump wastewater to the plant — and at the wastewater treatment plant itself.

“The bones of that plant seem very sound, but a lot of that equipment is over 20 years old,” Droessler said.

The biggest upgrade is to the plant’s ability to store sludge. The project will include the installation of equipment that will thicken sludge and then a tank where sludge can be stored. This will reduce the frequency of how often sludge needs to be hauled out of the plant from every 4 to 6 weeks to possibly twice a year. This extra capacity will reduce hauling costs and also be important if the village grows in population, Droessler said.

Other changes at the plant include modernizing of the lab to modern standards. WWTP personnel conduct substantailly more testing as required by regulations than when the plant was constructed.

“They simply don’t have adequate space,” Droessler said.

A slide presentation with more details and numbers used at the public hearing is available here.

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