Stories of 2007
City of De Soto opens new wastewater plant
Although it can be assumed most of De Soto residents were unaware of it, Monday was a milestone day for the city.
With the first day of the week, valves were turned to divert nearly all the city's wastewater to the new sewer plant in the West Bottoms. The old plant near Kill Creek is now limited to treating waste from Valley Springs and Arbor Ridge and that is expected to end late this week.
The new plant is now operational, but it will take time before it is doing the job it is designed to do. It has yet to be seeded with the microbes that will do the real work of feeding on the waste flowing into the plant. Those bugs will be piped from the old plant to start work in their new work place.The plant is "substantially complete," city engineer Mike Brungardt said. It's functional but its contractor, Walters-Morgan of Manhattan, still has to finish details such as the access road to the plant and seeding there and in the city.The contractor also will be in charge of running the plant until the end of April when its operations are fully functional and tested, Brungardt said. De Soto officially will take over when the Kansas Department of Health and Environment issues one last operating permit.Nonetheless, city wastewater supervisor Doug Smith already is setting up his office at the West Bottoms' site. The fact that he has an office, as does plant operator Tracy Foulk, says much about the upgrade in space the department got with the move.At the Kill Creek site, office space, equipment and the lab were contained in one shed.
"It was little cramped," Smith said.
The new plant affords the department with the two offices, a dedicated lab, a cafeteria/meeting room, and a shop.