New La Plata operations proposals set into motion
Council approves public works study, nutrient reduction credits
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.