Southside residents plagued by odor emanating from Saline’s wastewater treatment plant may be breathing a little easier by Spring of 2019.
Brian Rubel, senior vice president of Tetra Tech, which is managing the city’s next wastewater treatment plant project, outlined the timeline of the project for Saline City Council at its work session Monday night.
The city has qualified for the state’s low-interest loan for a $3.5 million improvement project. The project will demolish existing odor scrubbers, install a carbon adsorber to treat air and install a new bioscrubber. The plan also calls for more efficient covers on tanks and channels at the facility, new ductwork to route foul air into the new systems and a carbon adsorption odor control system at the southside pump station to treat foul air from the wet well.
The city is expected to close on its low-interest loan in June. It can take up to six months for the odor scrubbers to arrive on site. Rubel told council the scrubbers will be delivered and installed in late fall or early 2019.
The new system should be up and running by April or May of 2019 -- so residents could experience less odors by then. However the biological scrubber requires warm weather to establish biology and certify performance, so total completion of the project may not occur until June.
Rubel told council he was pleased to have met an aggressive timeline to get the city the low-interest loan. The city also expects the state will forgive $100,00 on the loan.
During the regular council meeting, Bob Scull updated council on some of the work being done to alleviate the problem in the meantime. Scull noted that the city received fewer complaints lately.
Councillor Dean Girbach, who lives on South Ann Arbor Street, noted the odor hasn't been as strong or frequent lately.
Scull said the city is spending money on expensive chemicals in hopes of reducing the odor.
Councillors are concerned that new filters at the wastewater treatment plant haven't worked consistently. Councillor Christen Mitchell asked Scull to have alternative plans ready to go should the problem worsen as the weather warms.