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Crosslake sewer expansion

Web posted May 16, 2017
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

Crosslake Public Works Director Ted Strand briefed the Crosslake City Council on the potential impact of future economic development projects on the city’s wastewater treatment plant at a meeting Thursday, May 11. The meeting was a continuation of a recessed meeting held on May 8.

The wastewater plant is rated to treat 150,000 gallons of water a day. Currently, the plant  handles an average of 50,000 gallons per day and 100,000 gallons a day on peak days. However, projects now being discussed could increase that flowage by 60 percent.

John Graupman of Bolton and Menk, the Mankato engineering firm the city is working with on a plant improvement project scheduled to go on line next year, said the plant is currently operating with no problems. But a 60 percent increase in water flows would put the plant close to its limitations, he said.

The city is aware of several potential developments in the near term that would increase water flows by 24 percent should they go forward. They include the Crosslake Community Charter School expansion, proposals for eight new townhomes, 32-unit apartment complex and a 75-bed assisted living facility.

Looking down the road, there have been discussions of another 50-bed assisted living facility, a carwash and the projection of 50 new homes being built. The water flow resulting from those projects would bring the total increase to 60 percent. Mayor Patty Norgaard said current studies indicate a need for housing for an additional 180 families in Crosslake by 2022.

Graupman and Strand said they wanted the Council to be aware of the potential for a problem should all this growth occur. And they wanted to identify an option for heading off any potential problem should the Council wish to do so. The Council has already approved a $1.6 million plant improvement project. The plant’s operation is currently hampered by a bottleneck when water flows to existing filters and clarifiers, Strand said. Adding a new clarifying tank at a cost of $800,000 would “make next year’s project a 20 year improvement rather than a 10-year improvement,” Graupman said. That would bring the total cost of the project to $2.4 million. The proposed tank would be three times the size of the current tanks, which would be used as backups. Graupman emphasized there is no urgent need to do anything now but that adding the new tank to the project would save money in the long run, assuming it would be needed. The improvement project affects only the plant and would not expand the current system to new users.

Councilman Dave Nevin made the point that even on peak days with a flow of 100,000 gallons, the plant still is only operating at two-thirds capacity. Councilman Dave Schrupp asked if something could be done in the current project to make it easier to add the clarifying tank at a later date, if needed. Graupman said adding a splitter box control structure to the plant improvement project would easily facilitate adding a clarifying tank later should growth dictate its need. The Council approved a motion by Schrupp to add the splitter box control to the plant improvement specifications and to closely monitor the situation going forward.

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