Dorchester OK’s creek study
In an effort to reduce the DNR-imposed phosphorus discharge limit on Dorchester’s sewer treatment ponds, the village board on Monday approved a $1,200 water flow study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The study will measure the flow of water in the local creek that receives the village’s wastewater effluent. Depending on what the USGS study finds, it could increase the village’s phosphorus limits based on new stream flow calculations, said MSA engineer Mike Voss.
Voss told the board that Dorchester must also do something to try and meet the phosphorus limits.
If village officials did nothing to attempt to reduce the village’s phosphorus concentrations, Voss said Dorchester would be fined a multi-discharge variance fee. Based on current rates of discharge, that would be over $80,000 a year.
“By adding ferric chloride you can reduce that to about $4,500 a year,” Voss told board members.
Voss suggested that the village move forward with the use of a chemical feed system that utilizes ferric chloride to reduce the amount of phosphorus that is discharged.
The cost of the temporary chemical feed facility is estimated to be roughly $10,000.
“Assuming 22.75 gallons of ferric chloride is added daily at a cost of $22.03/lb of ferric chloride, the annual cost of chemical is $15,600,” Voss wrote in an update to the board.
The difference comes out to $64,000 less than the MDV fee.
The survey, if successful, could help get the village’s phosphorus limits increased.
“We found that the DNR will review the effluent limits if we can give them a new stream flow calculation,” he said. “Your limits are calculated on a zero flow on that stream, and that doesn’t make sense.”
Voss said the survey is not guaranteed to produce successful results, but with a chance to increase phosphorus limits and save money, the board chose to move forward with the study.
“I think it’s a good gamble,” village president Kurt Schwoch said.
_ Michelle J. Dunn has been hired as the village’s new clerk/treasurer, replacing Brooke Bruesewitz. Her first day on the job will be March 16.
_ The board approved the purchase of two antennas to help make water meter readings faster and more accurate. The cost of the two antennas is $1,200 with a 30 day trial period.