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Modest rancher is a sewage plant

September 27, 1999

Home sewerBy SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

photos: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




BOONSBORO - From the outside, it looks like a beige cottage, similar to other nearby Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village homes.

But it's actually a sewer plant.

Rather than building a typical-looking "ugly" sewage plant, the company instead put its sewage operation inside an 1,800-square-foot ranch-style home, President Richard Bowman said.

It replaces a 50-year-old sewage system that includes two filtration ponds, he said.

They wanted the new plant, which will begin operation within a month, to better fit with the residential community's appearance, he said.

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"This was more community-friendly," he said.

"The best plan was this," he said, pointing at the house, "and less objectionable."

In fact, the building looks so much like other cottages that it has even caused some confusion.

"People ask when this cottage will be ready," said Timothy Ranck, field supervisor for Callas Contractors, Inc. which built the plant with the assistance of Associated Engineering Services Inc. Field Engineer William Bond.

Home sewerRanck and Bond said they have never heard of a plant built inside a home before.

The Washington County Sanitary Commission pulled a similar guise several years ago when it built a sewage pumping station inside a brick "house" south of Hagerstown. The back of the "house" can be seen from Halfway Boulevard in a housing development opposite the entrance to Martin L. "Marty" Snook Park.

The plant at Fahrney-Keedy can handle 50,000 gallons of sewage a day but it presently has a flow of about 6,000 to12,000 gallons, Ranck said.

This means the plant can easily serve the company's homes when it expands in the next few years from 24 apartments to 40 and from 36 cottages to 60, he said.

It cost about $400,000 to build the new plant and close the old one, Bowman said.

Area residents are appreciative of the new plant's look, he said. But what really excites some of them is that the company is doing this without using any government money, he said.

The county does not serve the area with water or sewer, so neighbors have private sewer systems, Bowman said.

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