We’ve vigorously tried to push back against the EPA and the new pollution standards and regulations, with little success. In addition, there is no reason to believe the government’s stance on these water pollution regulations will change any time soon. We believe the only option is to proceed with the upgrades, bring the facility into compliance and discharge fewer pollutants into our local and regional waters. We also believe our customers embrace our mission and commitment to operating in a fashion that protects the environment and keeps it in the best shape for future generations of Star residents.
At this point the estimate is about $29.5 million. Here is a breakdown of each component and estimated price tag: Design and Construction Engineering $5.34 million Construction Cost = $17.6 million. Contingency Allowances = $6.61 million, or 30% of the budget Projected Total Cost: $29.5 New water well/reservoir = $4-5 million.
The answer is yes. The test results so far from our new water well site have come back positive for the quality of water and negative for traces of Sulphur and iron. As a result, we are confident the new location, which drills into a separate aquifer, will produce better quality drinking water for our customers in the future.
A new source of drinking water is included in the scope of our project. In fact, we have identified a location for a new well and for months now have been conducting testing and monitoring. The results have shown we’ve identified a zone in the aquifer capable of providing improved quality and capacity. The project also includes building a 750,000-gallon storage reservoir and pumping infrastructure to position our community for growth and greater demand for domestic water.
The simple truth is we have no choice but to upgrade and modernize our treatment plant to comply with tougher standards imposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Like many communities across Idaho, the EPA is requiring reductions in the levels of phosphorus and ammonia in our treated wastewater product. The fact is, our current system and technology are unable meet the more stringent standards spelled out in our federal operating permit. To meet these new standards, we will be pulling out of service our aging and obsolete lagoon system and upgrading with new infrastructure and technology designed to produce a cleaner product and handle increase capacity. This project also provides an important benefit for our customers and community going forward. The upgrades we’re planning will put our treatment facility in position to better manage growth here in Star. Our treatment facility, which now serves about 3,500 customers, is operating near capacity. Projections show Star is poised to grow at 5% percent per year, which could triple our customer base by 2033.
Fats, Oils and Grease can damage your home and the environment. Help Prevent Sewer Overflows and Backups. What can you do to help?? Never pour grease down sink drains or toilets. Scraping grease and food scraps into a can or the trash for disposal or recycle (if available). Putting drain baskets and strainers in sinks to catch food scraps and other solids. Empty these into the trash. Talking to friends and neighbors about how to keep these out of the sewers. Grease is a by-product of cooking foods such as meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter, baked goods and dairy products. When these items are washed down the sink drain, the grease sticks to the inside of the sewer pipes (both in your home and in the city sewer lines). Over time, it can build up and block entire pipes resulting in: Raw sewage backing up into your home or your neighbor’s house. Expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often must be paid by you, the home or business owner. Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards and streets. Potential contact with disease-causing organisms. An increase in operation and maintenance costs for the local sewer departments, which leads to higher sewer bills for all customers. **Note: Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system. Also, hot water and products that claim to dissolve grease only pass it down the line and cause problems in the city sewer systems.** ** Caution: FOG (fats, oils and grease) are not just bad for your health but for the sewer too. Sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage home interiors and threaten the environment. A common cause of overflows is sewer pipes blocked by grease. Grease from household drains as well as from poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants, Laundromats and other businesses.**