Angels' sewer plant is working

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By MIKE MORRIS

Angels Camp's new sewer plant is now up and running after more than a month of being inoperable.

British manufacturers brought over to fix problems with the $4.8 million water-treatment facility's motor have done just that although it might be temporary.

When the plant's motor doesn't start properly, a control system now automatically resets it. The re-start process can happen only three times before the system shuts down and plant operators are notified with an alarm.

This is a short-term fix while manufacturers work to identify the source of the problem, which they believe might be a PG&E power failure, Angels Camp Engineer Gary Ghio said.

The plant had a brief, but successful, start in early June, but it's been mostly downhill since construction on the plant began about two years ago.

The Darby Fire of September 2001 cut off water after construction got under way several months before. To complicate matters, PG&E's bankruptcy slowed the installation of power needed for further construction.

Then, a large water container temporarily housing the city's sewage began leaking into Six Mile Creek. Subsequently, the California Regional Water Control Board insisted construction stop until the leak could be fixed. Pumps were set into the creek and liners were installed so any leaking sewage would be sent back into the basin.

Ghio, who said he's relieved to know that the facility is finally being put to use, said Angels Camp residents won't notice any change in their sewer service now that the plant is working again.

Contact Mike Morris at mmorris@uniondemocrat.com .

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