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Hudson's wastewater treatment plan needs updates

The Hudson Wastewater Treatment Plant that first opened in the 1950s can last the city until 2040, but needs about $9.7 million in updates.

The Hudson Common Council heard recommendations from a study of the plant and its capacity and condition Monday night.

The study conducted by Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) recommended staying in the current site on Second Street.

"It's pretty impressive that we've gotten that much life out of the building," Miles Jensen of SEH said.

The current flow of the site is 1.5 million gallons per day on average, with peaks close to 3.9 million gallons. In 2040, or at a population of 25,000, the flows are projected to be 2.2 million gallons per day.

Updates are needed to get there. The largest projects include the preliminary treatment center, sludge thickening equipment, UV disinfection and a secondary wet well upgrade, Jensen said.

City staff did not recommend an upgrade of the primary wet well, which serves as storage before wastewater is processed. That upgrade would bring the project to $12 million.

Utilities Director Kip Peters said he's comfortable with moving forward with upgrades to the secondary wet well only.

The improvements are far cheaper than building a new facility or a secondary facility, Utilities Director Kip Peters said.

"Sure $10 million is a lot of money, but again with growth, you know the way the city's growing and everything like that, it does cost money to keep up on your utilities," Peters said.

Design for the project will begin in March, with bidding taking place in December or January. Construction will then begin in February 2020, with a final completion set for June 2021.

Upcoming development such as the St. Croix Meadows redevelopment and annexed land has all been taken into account in the study and projects, Peters said.

"When a project comes forward, that is all calculated into what our capacity is," he said.

Community Development Director Mike Johnson said the city's comprehensive plan is used to look at land usage and how much waste those uses generally produce. The type of developments the city is focused on, such as transportation and high-tech, don't have a large impact, Johnson said.

If the flow hit the 2.2 million gallons per day mark in the future, Peters said the city would look at building a satellite plant.

The council approved a letter of engagement with SEH for the project updates for a total of $1.6 million.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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