Wastewater Treatment Plant Grant Discussed with Knox City Council

An improvement project at the Knox Wastewater Treatment Plant has nearly cleared another procedural hurdle.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston provided city council members with an update about where the process stands when they met last Tuesday.

He explained, “The $700,000 Wastewater Treatment Grant is in the final engineering plan right now and then they’ll submit that engineering plan to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management who will green light that and we’ll proceed from there.”

As reminder, this grant was awarded through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC) is serving as the grant writer and administrator for this project. 

The architecture and engineering firm JPR is being utilized for the work. They’ll be working on a necessary upgrade to the head works and the pre-treatment system.

According to project officials, the way the plant is currently set up, grit and debris are exposed to the pumps prior to the screening system, causing the pumps to wear down more quickly.

Additionally, the screens themselves are more than 20 years old and have been rusted by the highly corrosive wastewater

In the past, officials shared that this upgrade will require crews to check into grit removal as well as some other components to make the pre-treatment process smoother and more efficient.  

When this project was being discussed back in August of 2017, the original cost was expected to be around $2.7 million. However, officials prioritized certain elements and scaled down the overall scope to make the project more feasible.

At a public hearing over the grant that was held in November of last year, KIRPC Community Development Planner Emily Albaugh said the total project cost is now $1,972,770.

At that time, she also noted that the City is required to provide a local match of $1,272,770. The match will be comprised of bond funds as well as “cash on hand” from various sewer utility accounts.