Have you ever wondered what happens to our dirty water? Where does the dirty dish water that drains down the sink or the water that is rinsed from our clothes go? What happens to the water that drains down the shower drain or that is even flushed with each trip to the restroom?
Every day, the City of Green River collects, transmits, and treats approximately 1.1 million gallons of wastewater that is produced by residents, businesses, and industries. This equates to over 85 gallons per person that lives within the City limits.
The wastewater is currently treated through screening and biological processes at the large lagoons east of town. After treatment, the cleaner water is discharged to the Green River. The City is allowed to discharge its treated wastewater through a permitting process administered by Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Through this permitting process, the City must treat the wastewater to a quality that is acceptable to both agencies and the downstream uses such as fishing, swimming, boating, and irrigation.
From time to time, the City’s permit is updated and the requirements become more stringent. Our next permit is expected to be issued in 2016. It is also expected that this permit will have requirements that are not achievable with our lagoon system.
Knowing this and in order to get ahead of the curve, the City of Green River has recently commissioned a study to determine the likelihood that our existing facility will be capable of meeting the anticipated treatment requirements. The study will also develop options and a cost-effective plan for our community to meet the anticipated treatment requirements.
It is anticipated that the study, which will be completed this fall, will recommend significant improvements to the treatment plant in order to meet the more stringent permit requirements we are expecting. Some of these recommendations may include the need to convert from the lagoon treatment system to a more effective mechanical treatment system similar to the treatment systems used by Kemmerer, Evanston, and Casper.
As part of the study, our consultant will identify low interest loan and grant funding options that will help to keep the financial impacts as low as possible to the users.
We will move forward, looking for solutions that are cost effective and that will allow us to plan for the future needs of the City. Information will be published on the City’s website at www.cityofgreenriver.org and will be presented to City Council as it becomes available. Should you have any questions, please contact me, Mark Westenskow, at (307) 872-0525 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.