(Scott Welton, Staff)
Norman Lambert, city engineer, said a lot of smaller communities are unable to afford some of the better solutions for meeting new standards for wastewater treatment passed down by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from the Environmental Protection Agency.
"A lot of these smaller towns can't afford this ultraviolet system," Lambert said. "Usually what they use is a system that puts in chlorine tablets like a swimming pool."
These systems require a basin where water can be held until the chlorine dissipates before it is discharged, he said.
But in November 2010, voters in Miner approved using 35 percent of tourism tax revenue for capital improvements and diverting 40 percent to the city's general fund enabling the city to put $1.4 million into a new lagoon and wastewater treatment equipment without any rate increase.
"We didn't want to go through the two steps of putting the chlorine in and then removing the chlorine," Lambert said. "The ultraviolet is just one step."
And wastewater treatment has enough steps already to ensure discharged water meets DNR's standards.
One feature of Miner's new system is alternating blowers that run on a timer, according to Lambert.
"They operate for two hours to put oxygen into the system at the first stage," he said. "Then they shut down and we have automatic valves that open and let the liquid into the second stage. In the second stage oxygen is mixed with it but it also has what is called an ionic curtain that separates the last cell which is a stilling cell. The majority of liquid there is just clear water but if there is any sludge left, that last cell lets it fall out."
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