EPA gives millions to Jackson Pike plant

Work is expected to begin this month on a project at the Jackson Pike Wastewater Treatment Plant that will replace equipment that blocks sewage debris from getting into the system.

The project has been estimated at $4.5 million, and the city of Columbus received a $5.2 million low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the project that is expected to take 18 months to complete.

The improvements being done on this project will reduce overflows caused by storm water entering the wastewater sewer system. The work also is designed to prevent sewer backups and keep water out of residents’ basements, said Laura Young Mohr, a public information officer for the City of Columbus.

The city operates two major wastewater treatment plants. These facilities are routinely evaluated for repairs and improvements.

In this project, skimmings will be removed early in the treatment process. Skimmings are identified as material that floats on wastewater, such as oil, grease, hair, animal fats, soaps, seeds, skins, wood products, rubber goods and plastics.

The loan carries a 3.25 percent rate for 20 years, which is one full percent before the market rate. This means the city will save $570,000 over that 20-year period. For such projects, Columbus issued bonds to generate the capital to proceed with construction.

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