Washington seeks grant for IDEM mandated wastewater project

The project looks to cost the city 2 million dollars.

Posted: Nov 21, 2019 6:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Rain fell hard Thursday morning in Washington Indiana. That rain made its way into the sewers. In the small town that stormwater also mixes with the community's wastewater.

Wastewater superintendent Scott Rainey says, "Phosphorus itself is naturally occurring in most of the products we use in the household and outdoors in the yard. Because we are a CSO community here so anything you use inside or outside can affect what we have to treat in our treatment plant."

Washington's wastewater plant puts out four to five parts per million of phosphorus. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is now mandating that number reduced to one part per million.

Rainey says, "We're going to have to tear one of our buildings down to make a new storage area to store the chemicals. So that we'll have enough to run a couple of weeks at a time. Without having to have a truck come every day."

The project calls for phosphorus to be removed from wastewater chemically. Costing the city $2 million. They now are hoping grant funding will cut that number down.

Mayor Joe Wellman explains, "It's not a drop in the bucket. We are working with the Southern Indiana Development Commission to apply for a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs."

If awarded the grant would pick up $7,000 of the price tag.

Rainey says, "The quick and short of it, it's an unfunded mandated thing. As with any community, money is tight. This grant would be a blessing for us to have that happen. Because it would give us leaps and bounds ahead of the game to help afford this to happen."

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