Treatment Plant Upgrade Project
The City of Klamath Falls is working to significantly upgrade the Spring Street Sewage Treatment Plant due to its aging infrastructure and the need to meet new, stricter treatment standards. The plant has been in operation since 1958, serving the City for over 60 years. Many of the plant’s parts are original since their installation in the 1950s. As repairs are becoming necessary due to age, it is more cost-efficient to replace them entirely them than to repair them.
The improvements will incorporate advanced technologies and processes to meet more stringent water quality limits and to increase the plant’s reliability and resiliency for decades to come.
The Wastewater Division provides services to approximately 21,000 city residents and Klamath Basin area customers, cleaning an average 2.2 million gallons of waste water per day from over 7,400 service connections. These upgrades will provide the following benefits to this process and to the community:
- Improved health, safety, and welfare of the public.
- Reliable, robust treatment with sufficient process and equipment redundancy (allowing the plant to stay operational while routine maintenance and repairs occur) and operator-friendly facilities.
- Energy efficiency, which will result in additional funding from the Energy Trust of Oregon and reduced power bills.
Reduction in operation and maintenance costs due to the elimination of two existing processes: primary clarification and digestion.
Key Project Elements
- A new influent pump station lifts flows from the sewer system deep underground up to the surface where the treatment takes place. The current pump station was built in the 1950s.
- An improved headworks facility with fine screening and grit removal will remove large debris from the wastewater such as rags, sticks, and rocks. The current headworks was built in the 1950s.
- An additional aeration basin will hold billions to trillions of microorganisms which consume pollutants in the wastewater and is one of the most essential parts of the treatment process. Those microorganisms then sink to the bottom allowing for easier removal of the pollutants. Adding the additional basin will help meet stricter permit requirements.
- A new BioMag® system uses cutting edge technology to provide a cost-efficient way to settle out solids and shrink the overall footprint of the treatment plant.
- A new screw press for solids dewatering squeezes solid particles after they are removed from the wastewater to remove excess water.
- Conversion of one digester to W.A.S. (Waste Activated Sludge) storage provides efficient reuse of existing infrastructure.
- Hydraulic improvements to existing facilities are being made in order to pass higher flows through the facility.
The project is now fully designed and awaiting approvals from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) before beginning construction. Construction is anticipated to last 12-18 months and may start in early 2020.
During construction there will be little to no impacts to the public. Water service will work as normal. Because the plant is in an industrial area away from neighborhoods and public gathering places, people should not experience disruptions outside of some increased truck traffic in the vicinity of the plant.
Cost & Funding
The project is estimated in the $50 million range. The project is being funded by incremental ratepayer increases, low-interest loans from the State of Oregon, City funds, and additional funding from the Energy Trust of Oregon.
This cost is typical of a comprehensive plant upgrade with aging infrastructure designed to meet stringent permitting requirements. Advanced technologies and processes will help meet more stringent water quality limits in the upcoming permit.