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By EMIL WHITIS
Daily Press Staff Writer

The $12 million wastewater treatment plant expansion project is quickly nearing completion — “ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Artesia Director of Infrastructure Robert Forrest said while the original finish date was set for April, the combination of an efficient, hard-working contractor in RMCI (of Albuquerque) and  relatively unhindered progress has resulted in a projected finish date of November.

“The wastewater treatment plant is so far out of the city that citizens don’t really get to see what goes on out here,” said Forrest. “It’s important that they see their dollars at work and what it’s doing for them inside the city.”

The expansion project, which broke ground in March and was funded through the issuance of $13 million in bonds by the city, will effectively increase the processing capacity of the facility from a little over 1 million to 3 million gallons of wastewater a day.

Major structural additions to the plant include two giant aeration basins used to nitroficate and denitroficate the influent, or dirty, water, an additional clarifier which will service the new aerator tanks, a belt filter press used to de-water sludge from the digestor tank, an additional mechanical bar screen which strains incoming water and protects lift pumps, a maintenance shop and a lab extension. Additionally, the chlorine gas disinfection process currently used will be replaced by a process which uses ultraviolet light to disinfect the water during the final stage of water treatment. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.