New sewer plant still not running

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By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

Though the new water-treatment plant is fully functional, faulty pumps in Angels Camp's troubled sewer plant have kept that new facility off line.

City Engineer Gary Ghio told the City Council last night that the manufacturer is coming to the sewer plant tomorrow to pull the pumps and see if the problem can be identified and repaired.

He said it has been more than two weeks since the new plant was operational.

In the meantime, the temporary plant facilities are processing the city's wastewater.

The pump problem is the latest in a long list of problems plaguing the new plant.

Construction began in May 2001 on the $4.8 million wastewater-treatment facility. But almost from the start, problems piled up.

The Darby Fire of September 2001 cut off water as construction got under way. PG&E's bankruptcy slowed the installation of power needed for further construction.

Then, shortly after crews began using a large basin (called the equalization basin) from the old plant as temporary sewage storage, the basin began leaking into Six Mile Creek and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board insisted construction stop until the leak could be fixed.

Pumps were set in the creek to send any leaking sewage back to the basin.

There were also shipping delays for the new sequential batch reactors that were manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Asked how much longer the new plant will be off line, Ghio said it all depends on what the manufacturer finds when he pulls the pumps.

Contact Sunny Lockwood at slockwood@uniondemocrat.com .

11505433
The Union Democrat
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