The Wastewater plant was built and operated by Preble County in 1976. After the bonds for the construction were satisfied, operation of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and collection system were turned over to the Lakengren Water Authority in 1998.
The most significant upgrades made to the WWTP have been the switch from chlorine injection to ultraviolet radiation as the means of finale disinfection of the effluent. This was completed in 1994 while Preble County operated the sewer system.
The most recent improvements have been the reconstruction of the four radial clarifiers. This included the rebuilding of the operating heads, including all new bearings and seals and replacement of all the old galvanized steel components with new stainless steel components. All of the concrete tanks were pressure washed, inspected and epoxy coated.
Other than minor upgrades to pumping equipment, flow meters and other minor systems, the plant exists today much like when it was originally designed and built.
In 2015, Ohio EPA renewed our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES Permit). Effective January 1st, the limit on the amount of Nitrogen, Ammonia (NH3) we were allowed to discharge will be reduced by 60%. The WWTP in its current configuration would not be able to maintain compliance without modification.
The Lakengren Water Authority (LWA) retained the engineering services of Mote and Associates to evaluate the WWTP and recommend a solution.
It was determined that the only way to meet the requirements of the new discharge permit was to modify the WWTP with the addition of new processes that would be better suited to our situation.
After evaluating different treatment techniques and processes, it was determined that an orbal (oxidation ditch) design would be best suited to our needs.
Along with the nitrogen removal requirement, we are addressing phosphorous removal, improving sludge processing and upgrading the electrical system which includes the installation of backup power generation.
It is expected that these modifications and improvements should serve the needs of the Lakengren Community for the next 50 years or more.
Article provided by: Alan Stobaugh General Manager, Lakengren Water Authority
Lakengren Water Authority held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. In addition to the Lakengren Water Authority employees and Board of Trustees, those in attendance were the Preble County Commissioners, Engineering firm Mote & Associates, members of Building Crafts, Inc., and a representative from both Gasper Township and the Lakengren Board of Trustees. Construction is to begin in the spring of 2019 with a completion date of March 3rd, 2021. The Lakengren Water Authority believes that the improvements made to the wastewater system along with the improvements that have been made in the drinking water area will serve the Lakengren community for many years to come. We will continue to post updates on this website as well as the Lakengren Water Authority Facebook page if you would to follow along with the progress of the project.
As Summer turns to Fall, work on the Wastewater Plant improvements continue. The majority of the excavation work has been completed. The footers for the new Orbal treatment process (also known as an oxidation ditch) as well as for the sludge digesters have been poured. Work on forming and pouring the walls for tanks has begun as shown in the photos. If you would like to follow along with the progress, check out our website lakengrenh2o.org or our Facebook page (Lakengren Water Authority). Updates and photos are made weekly.
Why is the Wastewater Treatment Plant being updated?
When the Ohio EPA issued our current NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit the levels of nutrient pollution, primary ammonia/nitrogen and phosphorus, were reduced by 60 %. Our new discharge limits go into effect March 1, 2020. Lakengren Water Authority is in compliance with our discharge permit at this time. However, without improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant we would not be able to comply with the new standards imposed by the Ohio EPA.
The LWA hired Mote & Associates, Inc. to evaluate our Wastewater treatment plant and recommend a solution that would allow us to remain in compliance with our NPDES permit. After evaluation of the current treatment plant design and past records, it was determined that the solution would be to install a new treatment process. With the addition of this treatment process we are also required to update all aspects of the treatment plant. This includes backup generation and sludge handling and disposal. In other words, we have to bring the plant up to current standards.
What is the estimated timeline for the Construction Project?
Timeline for Wastewater Improvement Project:
- Bids opened and read on 10/10/2018
- Public meeting held at lodge on 10/23/2018
- Board passed resolution to accept low bid submitted by Building Craft on 10/24/2018
- Financing to be awarded December, 2018
- Estimated Construction start date: March, 2019
- Project completion required by 3/3/2021
What is the projected cost of the project?
Projected Project Costs:
$6,321,000 Bid for the project, including clarifier covers.
$495,500 Engineering, legal, and permit fees.
$445,000 Contingency to cover unanticipated costs (Not borrowed if not used).
$368,500 Sludge press equipment handled under a separate bid.
-$230,000 OPWC Grant
-$100,000 Generator/Pump Grant money
$7,300,000 Total Projected Cost
We have obtained OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) grant money in the amount of $230,000 that will go towards the sludge press. We will receive another grant of $100,000 to go towards the purchase of a backup generator and high efficiency pumps and motors. The nutrient reduction portion of this project is 0% interest money. The nutrient reduction portion comprises of about 75% of the project. The interest for financing this project is projected to be about 0.45%.
What is it going to cost the property owners of Lakengren?
There are 1,992 parcels in Lakengren. With the projected cost of $7,300,000, the estimated per parcel assessment will be $3,664.66 before interest over a 30-year period. Including interest, it comes out to $3,920.00. If a property owner chooses to have their property assessed rather than paying the full amount up front, each parcel they own will be assessed $130.80 per year over a 30-year period. Combining of contiguous lots on to a single parcel to avoid multiple assessments may be done. To request a combination, property owner’s must do so in writing at the Preble County Auditor's office. Application for combination of parcels must be submitted to the Preble County Auditor by January 1, 2019 and the process must be completed by March 31, 2019. Property owner’s will receive a certified letter in the mail from our attorneys, Albers & Albers, informing them of the projected assessment amounts prior to construction being completed. Upon completion of the project, property owner’s will receive a second letter in the same manner informing them of the final assessment amount.
Up until 2018 all lots were assessed a $52 per year M&O (Maintenance & Operation) charge. This represents $116,000 yearly revenue for Lakengren Water Authority. This charge will no longer appear on your tax bill. It is the position of the LWA that assessments should pay for capital improvements and M&O charges should be paid by the users. Effective with the first monthly bill due in January, 2019, there will be a $7 -$10 a month increase in your sewer usage charge to replace the M&O charge billed on property taxes previously.
Timeline for Billing/Assessment Changes:
1. $52 per year M&O assessment removed from the tax bill for 2019.
2. M&O charge will appear on monthly bill in an amount of $7-$10 effective Jan, 2019.
3. The WWTP Improvement assessment of $130.80 per parcel per year will appear on tax bill effective 2022.