Needed repairs coming for wastewater treatment plant

WORN DOWN from over a decade of constant use, aerators at the City of Fredericksburg’s Wastewater Treatment Plant have deteriorated to the point where at least one unit is almost always offline. Replacing the aeration base, which operates 24 hours per day, is estimated to cost around $2 million. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Matt Ward

Since 1997, an average of one million gallons of sewage per day has flowed through the City of Fredericksburg’s wastewater treatment plant, located at 1460 East Main Street.

With that amount of waste processed at the plant, the life expectancy of major portions of the plant — usually around 15 years — have come and gone, prompting city staff to take a more proactive approach to keeping things flowing.

“It appears to me that we have been fixing one small issue at a time and more or less putting a band aid on things to where it helps us get through, but we want to take more of an overall systems approach to the problem now,” City Public Works Director Clinton Bailey said.

“What happens is if the plant’s not working efficiently, we spend more money trying to help it along,” he said. “Instead of spending that money every month just to help us along, let’s fix the problem and save that money that we’re spending daily long term.”

This year, the water department has allocated $355,000 toward a series of improvements to the headworks at the wastewater treatment plant, including a new step screen for trash removal, a new grit removal system and a new washer/compactor.

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