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County diverts waste water flow in Williamsport area

November 23, 2001

County diverts waste water flow in Williamsport area



By SCOTT BUTKI / scottb@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Washington County has diverted the flow of waste water from a recently closed county waste water plant to one still operating, Water and Sewer Director Greg Murray said.

The Nicodemus Waste Water Treatment Plant in Williamsport closed Oct. 31, he said.

About 400,000 gallons a day of waste water that previously went to Nicodemus now goes to the Conococheague Waste Water Treatment Plant, at the 70/81 Industrial Park north of Williamsport, he said.

The plant's closure and the flow transfer were planned moves approved by the Washington County Board of Commissioners more than one year ago as the result of state mandated improvements of waste water plants.

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The state required the plants to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from sewage before treated waste water is released. It would have cost $13 million to make the needed improvements at both plants, Murray said.

Instead it was decided to transfer the flow and close the older plant, saving the county about $7 million, Murray said. Nicodemus opened in 1965. Conococheague opened in 1994.

Operating one waste water plant instead of two results in operational savings of $250,000 a year, he said.

Nicodemus had a capacity of 1.6 million gallons and Conococheague's capacity was 2.5 million, he said. With the improvements, Conococheague now has a 4.1 million gallon capacity, he said.

The improvements at the plant will be finished within one week, he said Tuesday.

The county had estimated the 16-month biological nutrient project would cost about $5.99 million but the estimate now is about $5.91 million, Murray said.

The flow could not be transferred until the improvements were near completion, he said.

The state and federal governments are paying 40 percent of the cost, or about $2.8 million.

Washington County is picking up the remaining cost, he said.

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