A ribbon cutting ceremony and public open house will be held Monday at Tooele City’s wastewater treatment plant, which is hailed by city officials as a model facility and the first of its kind in the nation.
A phase-two expansion project was recently completed at the Tooele City Water Reclamation Facility and those improvements will be highlighted for public review at Monday’s open house.
The facility is located on 3300 N. 1200 West and was originally constructed in 2000. Since then it has gone through a series of upgrades with the most recent costing $4.5 million.
Dan Olson, wastewater superintendent at the plant, encouraged people to come and “see what the city has done with your tax dollars.”
“Any Tooele resident that wants to see how their tax dollars have been spent should come take a tour,” he said. “The mayor and the city council have a tremendous plan for this city, and the future of this city and this plant is part of that.”
The ribbon cutting will occur at 9 a.m. followed by site tours.
In addition to the tours, visitors will see a video that highlights the facility’s upgrades and expansions. They will also receive a commemorative pin after completion of the tour.
“The ribbon cutting ceremony is probably more beneficial to the community officials in attendance,” Olson said. “There is no other place like our facility in North America. With the upgrades, we no longer have to use chlorine when we treat the material that comes through, thus eliminating the potential to introduce hazardous chemicals into the environment.”
The use of chlorine was eliminated thanks to a state of the art ultraviolet green house that dries biosolids to be used for fertilizer.
Olson said that almost all of the biosolids that come into the plant are turned into Class A reusable products.
Jim Bolser, Tooele City community development and public works director, said the upgrades to the facility could save the city up to $100,000 a year.
“The true degree of costs savings to the city are yet to be seen,” he said. “However, when you calculate basic changes in procedure, like hauling and dumping costs that this new system almost completely eliminates, and add into that the calculable vehicle maintenance and repair costs that naturally comes with the amount of hauling and dumping we were doing prior to this system coming on line, we are going to save a substantial amount.”
He added more savings will come from the reusable water and biosolids that are produced by the system for irrigation and soil treatment purposes.
For guests who are unable to take a walking tour of the plant, a motorized vehicle will be provided. The open house will last from shortly after 9 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. with tours available throughout that time frame.
“The ribbon cutting ceremony is intended to be a fairly brief celebration of the completion of the construction project and implementation of the revolutionary system now operational at the plant,” said Bolser.
He noted, “This system utilizes technologies and reusable energies seen nowhere else in the Unites States. There are a few of these systems in place in Europe and Australia, but this is a first of its kind in this country. For this same reason, this facility and the potential it provides to the community is very exciting and the open house is intended as a welcome to anyone who wants to come see what we’re talking about.”
To reach the treatment plant, the easiest way is to travel west on Erda Way from S.R. 36 for about two miles. Turn left onto 1200 West and proceed south. The facility is about one mile south of the intersection of Erda Way and 1200 West.