Town of Beloit wastewater project would raise rates 35 percent

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Gina Duwe
Friday, May 16, 2014

TOWN OF BELOIT--When town of Beloit residents receive their first sewer bill of the year, they'll likely see a 35.5 percent increase, wastewater treatment plant Director Howard Hemmer said.

That's because the town approved an estimated $2.76 million project to make improvements at the two wastewater treatment units that discharge treated wastewater to the Rock River, he said.

The town has requested the state Department of Natural Resources approve the plan, and the DNR is accepting public comments.

The town owns and operates the two units at 3629 S. Walters Road. They provide service to parts of the towns of Beloit and Rock. Most of the customers live along the river on the east side, though they stretch out to Prairie Avenue and north into the town of Rock along Highway 51. Commercial users include Alliant Energy on the west side of the river and Blackhawk Technical College and Rockvale Mobile Home Park.

The project is estimated to cost the typical residential user in the town of Beloit 35.5 percent more, boosting the average bill to about $113 per quarter, according to a news release from the DNR. The increase would be 30 percent to about $130 for town of Rock customers.   

The town anticipates financing the project through the Clean Water Fund.

Improvements to the wastewater treatment plant include:

-- Installation of new electrical systems.

-- Installation of new grit handling equipment.

-- Construction of a block building over the screening and grit facilities.

-- Installation of new alum storage and feed facilities.

-- Installation of new aeration systems, blowers and dissolved oxygen sensors in both plants.

-- Installation of new ultraviolet disinfection facilities.

-- Replacement of a sludge transfer pump.

-- Replacement of mechanical components of the larger of the two treatment units.

The treatment plant improvements are needed to continue to meet current and anticipated discharge permit requirements, replace aging equipment and increase efficiency, according to the news release.

 “A lot of it is age,” Hemmer said. “Our electrical is ancient.”

Construction will take about a year and likely start in spring 2015, Hemmer said.

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