Coal City to pay $80,000 for sludge removal

Ann Gill

On a given day the village of Coal City treats 600,000 gallons of wastewater in a process that removes approximately 750 pounds of solids that turns into sludge.
    “Removing this byproduct on a regular basis allows the treatment center to continue to operate properly on a regular basis,” said Village Administrator Mat Fritz.
    Removing sludge from the village’s treatment plant requires certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  certifications and haulers must be licensed to handle and remove the product for disposal.
    In the past, the village has paid to have the product removed on an annual basis, but due to more stringent guidelines imposed by the EPA, the village will now have the materials transferred every other year.
    The village has included $80,000 in the current budget to cover the cost of removing sludge from the treatment facility and based on bids submitted by two licensed haulers, it’s expected that over 700,000 gallons of sludge will be hauled away for disposal in a licensed landfill.
    Stewart Spreading submitted the lowest bid of 98 cents per gallon. The company’s cost also includes a mobilization fee of $6,000.
    The village is responsible for landfill disposal and tipping fees, and with a set budget trustees questioned the overall cost.
    “We need to get as much as we can out of there, so I’d be more comfortable knowing what the price is going to be,” Trustee Ross Bradley said.
    Although the landfill costs are not yet known, Fritz said he plans to utilize   the entire $80,000 outlined in the budget and the board approved so long as the budget amount is not exceeded.
    Fritz reported that the public works department will see a demonstration of a press system that processes sludge in a new way. It basically reduces the amount that is transferred out.
     The press comes with a $900,000 price tag, an amount the administrator said doesn’t quite fit into the budget.
    Trustees will be invited  to the demonstration and Fritz suggested they attend to learn the reasons for the equipment and its return on investment. The demonstration will occur after the sludge removal has been completed.