New La Plata op­er­a­tions pro­pos­als set into mo­tion

Coun­cil ap­proves pub­lic works study, nu­tri­ent re­duc­tion cred­its

Maryland Independent - - News - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­ Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

The La Plata Town Coun­cil has ap­proved two new pro­pos­als from the di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions, Robert F. Stahl Jr., that will di­rectly af­fect fu­ture plans for the town’s Pub­lic Works Main­te­nance Fa­cil­ity and con­firmed that the town’s sanitary sewer sys­tem meets the new MS4 per­mit reg­u­la­tions.

Stahl said both pro­pos­als are nec­es­sary eval­u­a­tions that look into the fu­ture of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions within the Town of La Plata, and will be con­ducted by KCI Tech­nolo­gies Inc.

Pub­lic works mas­ter site plan

KCI will con­duct a study of op­tions for de­vel­op­ment of the town’s Pub­lic Works Fa­cil­ity and con­vert it into a mas­ter site plan. The fi­nal re­port will present op­tions for best uti­liz­ing and de­vel­op­ing the fa­cil­ity to serve the needs of the town for the next 20 years — in­clud­ing plans for an equal­iza­tion tank and trans­fer sta­tion.

Stahl said the need to con­duct the study is due to growth and con­sol­i­da­tion, but it will also present op­por­tu­ni­ties for gen­er­at­ing rev­enue for the town.

“At the pub­lic works build­ing we have a 9-acre par­cel but we are only us­ing about 3 acres of that par­cel right now. We want to put to­gether a fa­cil­i­ties’ mas­ter site plan that shows where each one of the new fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment will be lo­cated on site,” Stahl said.

“In terms of go­ing through a process for a trans­fer sta­tion, the town needs to have a lo­ca­tion for it at pub­lic works and it needs to make sense en­gi­neer­ing wise,” said Town Man­ager Daniel Mears.

In re­gards to the scope of work, KCI will need to ob­tain elec­tronic records and re­view avail­able data of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, de­vel­op­ment plans and any an­tic­i­pated changes in ser­vices, such as solid waste man­age­ment. Then KCI will pre­pare three sep­a­rate op­tions for site use with phas­ing in over the next 20-year pe­riod.

The work is ex­pected to be com­plete within four weeks and it will be com­pleted for a lump sum fee of $10,000.

Nu­tri­ent re­duc­tion cred­its

KCI will also per­form a pre­lim­i­nary eval­u­a­tion of La Plata’s op­tions for us­ing its sanitary sewer sys­tem for nu­tri­ent re­duc­tion cred­its that meet the pro­posed MS4 per­mit’s 20 per­cent retro­fit re­quire­ments.

“We hired KCI and we are ask­ing for them to give us nu­tri­ent cred­its for the amount of nu­tri­ents that we cur­rently re­move from the stormwa­ter to ap­ply to­wards our goal for 2025 which is un­der the phase two MS4 per­mit. We talked to Robert M. Sum­mers, KCI se­nior sci­en­tist and he thinks its a good idea,” Stahl said.

Mears said the data and ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the town’s cur­rent state of the art sanitary sewer sys­tem puts the town in a unique po­si­tion. “This may al­low for some­thing that the MDE may not be con­tem­plat­ing in other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. What KCI is propos­ing is to make a case to ad­dress it and even if no other mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the state takes ad­van­tage of it, it would be sig­nif­i­cant for the Town of La Plata,” Mears said.

The Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment has pub­lished a re­view process for ob­tain­ing ap­proval that will be used if the town de­cides to pur­sue any of the nu­tri­ent cred­its. The pro­posed per­mit con­di­tions re­quire ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion such as an im­ple­men­ta­tion sched­ule show­ing that the re­quired 20 per­cent will be achieved by the year 2025.

“In La Plata we treat a tremen­dous amount of I&I [in­flow and in­fil­tra­tion] — 1 mil­lion gal­lons per day, but dur­ing ma­jor rain events we will see as much as 3 mil­lion gal­lons per day,” Stahl said.

“We track our water from the time we get it out of the ground to the time that we put it back in the Port To­bacco River and Po­tomac River,” said Bill Eck­man, for­mer Mayor of La Plata and data an­a­lyst and spe­cial projects co­or­di­na­tor at Town of La Plata Pub­lic Works.

The $7,600 scope of work will be led by Robert Sum­mers, in ad­di­tion to a two-hour ad­vi­sory re­view per­formed by the prin­ci­pal in charge, Thomas Sprehe (KCI), both charged at a billing rate of $180 per hour.

Town Trea­surer Robert Oliphant said this is not a bud­get item so the town would need to al­lo­cate funds to make it pos­si­ble. Ad­di­tional de­tails will be pro­vided at a fu­ture coun­cil work ses­sion.

Town of La Plata Di­rec­tor of Op­er­a­tions Robert Stahl demon­strates how sewer and waste­water is cleaned at the Pub­lic Works site on April 5.

Town of La Plata Di­rec­tor of Op­er­a­tions Robert Stahl demon­strates how solids go into a bar screen dur­ing the sewer and waste­water treat­ment process.


Bill Eck­man, for­mer mayor of La Plata and data an­a­lyst and spe­cial projects co­or­di­na­tor at Town of La Plata Pub­lic Works, showed the con­trol room area on site on April 5.

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