Improvements are coming to the Arcata wastewater treatment plant – KIEM-TV

Arcata, Calif. (KIEM) – The California Coastal Commission has approved the City of Arcata’s proposed upgrades to their wastewater treatment facility.

The current infrastructure dates from the 80s and needs major improvements. This will be one of the largest infrastructure projects the town of Arcata has undertaken in recent years and officials are confident it will greatly benefit the community.

The project has been in the works for more than a decade. officials claiming the city’s coastal location has prevented large-scale improvements from advancing as quickly as they would like.

We spoke with the Town of Arcata’s Environmental Services Manager, Emily Sinkhorn, about the proposed improvement plan.

“I think with any big capital improvement project, you know, it’s going to take a long time to get there. And the city started seriously designing the rehabilitation of this treatment plant about a dozen years ago,” Sinkhorn said. “For a project of this scale in a coastal zone, it takes a long time and a lot of steps to get there. And so I think we’re on the right track.

The facility’s aging infrastructure continues to operate through ongoing maintenance, but the city wants to make major improvements instead of small fixes.

Sinkhorn goes on to say, “A big part is changing our disinfection system and so we disinfected with chlorine and so we are switching to ultraviolet light.

The old chlorine disinfection system proved to be causing problems. Many of the water quality violations the city has already experienced were due to the use of chlorine as a disinfectant.

“We’re also upgrading a lot of our pipelines and infrastructure that dates back to the 1980s and has been working well until now, but it really needs updating,” Sinkhorn said. “And so, while we rehabilitate our existing factory, we also continue to plan for the decades to come.”

The upgrades are expected to take two and a half to three years, with construction beginning hopefully in late fall.

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