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The Bonne Terre City Council recently heard an update on the UV system at the sewage treatment plant and received news that a wrong system that was installed will be replaced.

Bonne Terre Public Works Director Shawn Kay said they have talked at length about the ultraviolet (UV) treatment system for the state correctional facility at the northeast wastewater treatment plant and he, City Administrator Jim Eaton, soon to be new plant operator Kaleb Politte, Building Inspector Dwayne Hackworth and Alliance Local Manager Frank Steward all had an opportunity to sit down with Joe Beffa of Vandevanter Engineering.

Alliance is a provider of professional operations and maintenance services for community water and wastewater systems throughout the state. They professionally manage and operate water and wastewater systems and districts including Bonne Terre's sewer system. Their contract will end with the city as of Oct. 1, at which time the city will oversee operations internally.

“Essentially what Vandevanter is telling us is that when they were originally trying to get this project off the ground they were given a flow rate, a max flow rate of 955,000 gallons per day. That was given to them by Alliance’s former operator.”

Kay said that after they installed a new system they found it was not up to the actual flow of the system, so the trough that was installed is too small. He said their solution is to not charge the city for the original trough or installation.

“What they are asking us to do is buy the larger trough and pay for the installation,” Kay explained. “Ultimately what it works out to for us is a $1,534 difference from the original contract to this new solution.”

Eaton said they will be getting more treatment capacity in the end. Kay said it will now be able to handle 1.25 million gallons per day.

Alderwoman Andrea Richardson asked to be sure that they weren’t being charged for the original installation and they are just going to be charged for the new trough and installation.

Kay confirmed that is that case.

Steward spoke up and said it came up to a little more than $16,000, but in the original contract there was less than $16,000 that was not used, so once all is factored in the city would only owe about $1,500.

The new trough is going to require the existing concrete trough be modified to fit a stainless steel weir in place. A weir slows the flow so there is more contact time with the water and the UV lamps responsible for good disinfection.

One other thing Eaton said is needed is the installation of a bypass.

“In addition to this project, there is no bypass so we can work on the UV system, clean it, or for all intents and purposes take it out of action throughout the winter when we aren’t required to have it,” Kay said. “So in addition to doing this project, we are going to take on building a bypass so we can route the water around the UV system and hopefully save some mileage on it.”

The city has been dealing with UV system problems for more than a year-and-a-half now. 

While the water is currently being treated and the levels are within an acceptable range, they need to have the correct system in place for proper disinfection.

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Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or



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