Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and clerks. Kayla Desroches/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly heard a status update on the Kodiak Island Borough Leachate Treatment Facility at its regular meeting Thursday night. Leachate is the liquid that results from rainwater passing through collected garbage, and the facility would process it.
Borough Manager Bud Cassidy announced before the presentation that the borough received a letter Thursday from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation which approved the facility to put garbage inside cell one, the active space in the facility.
Construction Inspector Dave Conrad from the Borough Engineering and Facilities department then went through a PowerPoint on the project. He explained that the staff is on phase three of the construction and has currently spent roughly $14 million on that expansion.
He also went through areas of improvement, like preventing noise disturbance from the facility. Conrad said they’re processing a change order that installs a muffler system on the intake side.
“As these blowers ramp up and ramp down on their speed, there’s a harmonic that’s produced and it is traveling down the wetland that’s there, and some of the neighbors have called. And, technically, we probably wouldn’t have had to do anything. However, there’s such a thing as being neighborly. And I believe the change order is somewhere between $90 and $100 thousand to perform that task.”
He said that the staff will put the change order before the borough manager soon. Assemblyman Dan Rohrer asked a follow-up question about the noise disturbance.
“Is that something – I presume staff has been in the field, confirmed that that is in fact challenging to the neighbors. I mean, is this a significant problem? I think about the way that building is laid in there against a vertical rock face and woods. It’s kind of interesting that the noise is traveling as well as it is, but have you guys been in the field to confirm it?”
“I have talked personally with Paul Zimmer. I have gone to the property,” said Conrad.
Conrad also spoke about repairs the facility has yet to complete.
“We have repair of an intake pump vault. After the intake pumps were actually installed, we discovered that we have a groundwater migration into that vault. We have to have the proper weather and conditions. We’re also taking leachate into this intake to run this plant, so consequently we’re going to have to clean the interior of that, so we minimize any hazard to any employees that are going into this space.”
Conrad talked about some new ideas the department would like to pursue, like the installation of a rain sheet.
“This is kind of like a big tarp over a portion of the bottom of cell one. We can divide cell one and potentially collect rainwater and divert it as storm water, which would be a very large cost savings to the community, because the more rainwater that comes and collects and co-mingles with the leachate, we have a dilution of the leachate, which consequently causes our chemical costs to rise.”
Conrad said preliminary numbers show that the facility could divert a million or more gallons of rainwater within a year that would otherwise go through the system. He said phase three of the construction should be complete in May or June of 2016.