The Bethel Sewer Lagoon Rehabilitation Project is getting underway, and KYUK spoke with City officials about the upcoming venture. The City of Bethel has released plans and is currently accepting construction bids on a portion of the project.
John Sargent is the City of Bethel’s Grant Manager and said that there are two parts to the Sewer Lagoon Rehabilitation Project.
“One is repairing the jetty, which juts out where the Sewer Lagoon Trucks deposit, you know, what they have in their truck into the lagoon, and the other part is the dredging part. Dredging and the baffle replacement,” said Sargent.
The problem with the jetty is that it’s slowly sinking into the sewer lagoon itself.
“So the sheet piling is failing, and it needs to be replaced to continue to support the heavy weight of the trucks,” said Sargent.
The jetty probably started sinking before anybody noticed it, said Sargent, but the City was only able to get an assessment done two years ago.
“The reason we got funding for this project was to put the lagoon back together the way it was originally designed,” said Sargent, “it’s not working right now the way it is.”
According to Sargent, the baffles in the lagoon were originally designed to direct the water flow to aid decomposition. That flow takes the sewage from where it is deposited from one section, or cell, as it’s called, to the release point.
“The Department of Environmental Conservation has certain testing where they want us to test it,” said Sargent. “We test it right when we release it, and then we test it downstream and, I think, one or two other spots, and compare those test results year after year.”
Why is this important now, you might ask?
“The lagoon was filled up to the point where it was getting dangerous. If it broke it would’ve been a disaster for Bethel Heights,” said City Manager Pete Williams. “We’ve got to the point where we’re ready to put the bid out to dredge the lagoon.”
The jetty repair portion of the project, Williams says, should be ready to be bid upon shortly.