GOSHEN — Upgrades totaling close to $21 million over the next two years are expected to finish bringing Goshen’s wastewater system into the 21st century.

The Goshen Board of Works on Monday approved putting the three-part project out for bids, which will be due by Feb. 24 and opened at the meeting that day. The project includes upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, improvements to dozens of lift stations and upgrades to the Rock Run Creek sewer system.

Public Works Director Dustin Sailor said the work will be covered by user fees as well as money borrowed from the Indiana State Revolving Fund. He said the city applied for the loan a year and a half ago and was approved for an amount that should be close to the total project cost.

“We’re somewhere around $20, $21 million. We’re hoping it comes in lower,” he said. “We’ve had regular rate increases, preparing for this, and the loan agency is the state revolving loan fund... We have an ‘up to’ (amount). Off the top of my head, we’re pushing the max on our ‘up to.’”

The WWTP alone is expected to cost about $17 million. The list of work is 21 items long and includes replacing four sewage pumps, replacing equipment for the six primary clarifiers, improvements to the aeration tank and the addition of two truck bays and a vacuum truck receiving station.

The lagoon on the west side of the plant, at 1000 W. Wilden Ave., will be replaced with a sludge dewatering building.

Work to the lift stations throughout the city includes electrical and control improvements and modernization of the remote communication equipment. Mechanical improvements and station replacements will also be made to a few of them.

The Rock Run Creek project includes construction of a 42-inch diameter sewer, storm sewer changes and curb, gutter, sidewalk and pavement improvements along Main Street near the creek. The length of the new underground lines will be less than half a mile.

Sailor said the project is needed because of the age of the infrastructure in many places and the workload that the treatment plant is seeing. Replacing some equipment should also result in a substantial savings in energy costs.

“It’s just gonna help us better meet our permit requirements, and operationally, we’re replacing the raw sewage pumps that were put in in the 1970s,” he said. “They have been well-maintained, but there comes a time when components need to be replaced.”

He also indicated many of the improvements will be invisible to the city’s utility customers.

“Hopefully, they don’t see any modifications to their system whatsoever,” he said. “Wastewater is one of those unseen services. As long as it flushes down the toilet, everybody’s happy.”

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