Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sewer facility needs to be replaced

    On Tuesday, May 20, Hailey voters will decide whether to fund improvements to the city’s sewer treatment system. Sewer treatment is an essential municipal service and we believe this project is absolutely necessary. The replacement of the 40-year-old “green dome” with a solids treatment facility will enable us to treat our waste in a safer and more efficient manner.  
    When the new sewer treatment plant was built in 2000, the city continued to use the 1974 dome for solids treatment. The dome has far exceeded its life cycle.  The plastic cover is delaminating and the mechanical supports are badly corroded. The dome is both unsafe and inefficient. It is time to replace it with a safe and efficient facility. The additional cost to construct the facility over and above the present sewer bill will be less than $3.50 per month for a typical residential user.  The investment in a modern facility is a small price to pay for safe and efficient treatment of our sewage, and delaying the project will only increase the cost.
    Hailey has a permit from the EPA that requires strict compliance with treatment of our effluent.  Solids treatment is essential to the proper functioning of a treatment plant; without it, we cannot comply with the permit requirements. If Hailey does not comply with our EPA permit, we may be subject to significant fines.  
    All of us who live in this city have an obligation to see that with respect to essential services, like water and sewer, we are a “first world” city.  
Fritz Haemmerle,
Martha Burke, Don Keirn, Carol Brown and Pat Cooley,
City Council members


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