By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Hermitage Municipal Authority on Wednesday approved change orders for all of the contractors working on the expansion of the water pollution control plant.
The change orders give the contractors an additional month, to April 30, to complete the work. Site restoration work, including paving, was extended to May 31.
The change orders to not affect the amount of money the contractors will be paid by the end of the contract.
Consulting engineer Joseph P. Pacchioni recommended the change order in acknowledgment of the 2è months it took to move an electrical power line.
The water side of the plant expansion - eliminating chlorine to treat waste water in favor of ultraviolet light - went on line in August, while the sludge side - installing an anaerobic digestion system to treat sewage and added food waste to create a high-quality sludge and generate a biogas that can be burned for electricity - is to be completed in March.
The $32 million expansion, which increased the plant’s capacity from 5 million gallons of water a day to 7.7 million gallons a day, was undertaken after the authority and city agreed to a consent order with the state Department of Environmental Protection.
State officials wanted to eliminate occasional discharges of raw sewage into Bobby Run after heavy rains.
The authority is filing a certificate of substantial completion as of August, when the plant started treating water under the UV system and the plant’s capacity was effectively enlarged.
The city will be released from the consent order after one year of proper plant operation. By filing the certificate as of August instead of December - the city had until Dec. 31 to complete the expansion - it could get out from under the consent order sooner, Pacchioni said.
“DEP seemed to be willing to accept that,” Pacchioni said of the August-dated certificate. “In fact, they suggested we file it that way.”
The digestion system was not covered under the consent order.