Sewage upgrades set for Calera

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Calera will begin accepting bids Feb. 25 for four upcoming sewer construction projects that will increase the city’s sewage treatment capacity four-fold.

Engineers at Carr & Associates Engineers, Inc., have completed plans for the city’s sewer upgrades.

Once completed, engineers said Calera should be able to meet its sewage treatment needs indefinitely, since there is only a limited amount of space for the city to expand.

Currently, Calera’s Buxahatchee Waste Water Treatment Plant on Fifth Street can treat .75 million gallons of sewage per day, according to Ben Carr of Carr & Associates.

One of the four planned projects will double that plant’s treatment capacity to 1.5 million gallons per day.

The Buxahatchee treatment plant opened about 20 years ago, Carr said.

&uot;It’s approaching the end of its designed life,&uot; he said.

According to Calera Public Works Manager David Jones, the Buxahatchee plant is currently treating close to its total capacity.

Completion date for the expanded Buxahatchee plant is set at nine months after bids are awarded, Carr said.

Other projects will build a new, 3.5 million gallon a day treatment plant at Camp Branch.

The plant, which will be located just south of Highway 70 and east of Highway 42, will serve Calera businesses and residents north of the Super Wal-Mart, Carr said.

The new treatment plant at Camp Branch is under a one-year construction schedule once the bid is awarded, according to Carr.

Assuming bids are awarded within two months after opening for bids on Feb. 25, Carr said the new sewage treatment plant could be finished by the end of summer 2005.

The other two projects set for bids at the end of this month involve expanding sewer lines.

One of these sewer expansions will install sewer lines along Highway 31, just north of the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

The second sewage line project will route sewage from a pump station to the new Camp Branch treatment plant.

Both line projects should be completed within 180 days of awarding bids, Carr said.

Construction on the sewage projects could begin in May.

According to Jones, the city has about $8 million reserved for the sewer projects, although he also said officials expect total costs to exceed that limit.