Motley learns about new MPCA requirements

Council votes to install two new monitors

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

The Motley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to spend approximately $7,780 to install two monitors at its wastewater treatment plant.

The Council learned that the new permitting process from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) to run wastewater treatment plants requires monitoring effluent dissolved oxygen (DO) and influent flows on a daily basis.

“I was told that all class C licensed plants in Minnesota are now required to do this monitoring,” said Maintenance Supervisor Bruce Brotherton. “The MPCA’s intent is to force the plants to be checked every day, including weekends and holidays.”

Brotherton, who currently has no one else in his department to help with the workload, asked the Council to consider purchasing a DO monitor which will log the daily results over the weekends.

“Our current DO monitor gives inconsistent readings,” said Brotherton. “I would like the city to spent $2,100 for a new one.”

Brotherton also brought up purchasing an Omnisite monitoring system for the city’s two lift stations, calculating daily flows.

“This would be cell-phone based and along with tracking flows, it would give pump run times and send a daily report to the office computer,” said Brotherton. “It also will incorporate an alarm dialer and continuous pump calibration.”

Brotherton said the city currently pays about $43 per month for a traditional phone service to each lift station for the alarm dialers. The new system would cost about $23 per month per unit to do the same thing.

The cost for an Omnisite system is $5,880 installed and would fulfill the permit requirements through this permit cycle.

“In my opinion, the monthly savings along with the reduced manpower requirements should make this a relatively short payback time on the investment,” he said.