City of Kirksville to update Wastewater Treatment Plant

New, stricter state and federal standards mean the city of Kirksville is going to have to make major, expensive upgrades at its Wastewater Treatment Plant south of town.

The current plant's operating permit expired in 2011. City officials have been working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to come up with a plan to insure compliance with tougher standards.

That $18 million project is set to begin in April 2015. It will take an estimated 18 months to compete the expansion and renovation project.

Despite the costly price-tag, current Wastewater Supervisor Brad Eitel is working on in-house improvements with staff to help cut down on some expenses.

"Our wastewater supervisor is having to keep the existing plant up and running and he has been working with his staff, evaluating improvements that need to be made, things that need to be maintained and over the course of that evaluation, he's actually coming up with some ways to save the money," said Mari Macomber, Kirksville City Manager.

The plant improvements will have three major phases. Those include headwork's and flow control, biological treatments and solids handling.

Kirksville's current Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed in 1976 and last upgraded almost 30 years ago.