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Forward-thinking staff dedicates wastewater plant

By Staff | Nov 2, 2012

A dedication was held to celebrate Shepherdstown’s newly operational, EPA compliant wastewater treatment plant Friday morning. The plant was constructed to meet newly adopted Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Initiative requirements for clean water. And was funded by increased rate charges for local utility customers, and money raised by the Corporation of Shepherdstown, at a cost to be partially refunded through appropriations garnered by state legislator Sen. Herb Snyder last March.

According to Mayor Auxer’s comments at the dedication Friday, the plant has been in the works since 2003, under the direction of the Shepherdstown Sanitation Board.

In the effort to meet new Environmental Protection Agency standards for plants located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed areas, the project was resumed in 2008.

According to Frank Welch, Shepherdstown’s director of Public Works, the construction effort was undertaken over a year and half ago, culminating in the dedication of the plant Friday. Welch said the plant uses a unique sequential batch reactor (SBR) system, with a membrane filtration system.

Welch described the “fine,” filtration provided by the system. “Nothing will go through except clean water,” he said.

The 800-gallon waster water treatment plant is only one of two plants in the tate to meet the Chesapeake Bay Initiative requirements, and the only one in the Eastern Panhandle to do so.

“This is the biggest plant that they’d tried this system on,” Welch said

The event Friday was attended by state Del. John Doyle, state legislator, Del. John Overington, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Mary Jo Brown, state Sen. Herb Snyder, and local businessman, Ken Lowe.wast