Construction of Lonedell R-XIV School District’s new wastewater treatment system on schedule and set to be completed by the end of September depending on weather.
During the last week of July, work began on the subsurface land application system. The design plans for the new wastewater system, developed by Cochran Engineering, were approved in April by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The new wastewater system will consist of an additional septic tank, pump and an extra drain field to the district’s existing septic tank system.
The system is referred to as a trip irrigation system. It will have seven pumps and holding tanks that will filter the water. Everything will pump into the sewer system. A roadway will be constructed that leads to the system, which will be fenced in when completed.
Superintendent Jenny Ulrich said the drip system has been installed for the new system, the land has been seeded and strawed, all of the tanks are set and have been backfilled.
The water and electric has been tied into the school building and are buried down to the crossing creek. Last week, electricians were on site completing the electrical panel and setting up electric to the new tanks.
The total cost of the project is approximately $290,000. At a July meeting, the school board approved bids from Chapman Contracting to put in the new wastewater plant, Dace Excavating to close the current lagoon, and Casco Electric to install electric and waterlines.
After the new system is up and running, the goal is to close the current lagoon this fall. Before it can close, the lagoon has to be completely dried up, according to Ulrich.
“If it becomes too cold or it becomes too wet at the end of September/early October, then we will have to wait until next spring to close the lagoon,” she said. “I’m hoping the weather cooperates.”
The current lagoon system was built for the use of 5,400 gallons of water a day. The past few years, the district has used between 2,400-2,600 gallons a day.
The amount of water used within the district has decreased over the years. Now, the district is down to using 1,500 gallons a day. Water usage decreased when leaky toilets and faucets were fixed.
Wastewater treatment lagoons are designed and constructed for the purpose of providing the right environmental conditions for bacteriological processes to proceed.
In 2016, the school district started looking into alternative options with its wastewater lagoon since it will be in violation of national standards soon due to stricter regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The ammonia levels in the lagoon located behind the school on Highway FF eventually will be too high under the new regulations. The district has until 2020 to upgrade the system.