Archive for Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Pollutant level decreases in city’s sewer system

March 26, 2003

A high pollutant reading in city sewers concerned among city officials in August, but readings taken monthly since then show the situation has improved.

Random readings for biochemical oxygen demand showed that in some cases there were 361 milligrams per liter of wastewater. Bacteria in wastewater requires a certain amount of oxygen to oxidize organic material.

For a city Tonganoxie's size, the ideal count is 220.

High counts traced back to restaurants and a local locker plant, but Kent Heskett spoke with business owners and runoff has been more favorable since then.

"We talked with all the restaurants and the locker plant and they were all more than willing to help all they could," Heskett said.

In September, the BOD dropped to 210, its lowest count since the concern was voiced. The reading jumped to 342 in January, but came back down to 274 in February.

The state requires a BOD test monthly with an outside lab administering all of the testing.

Although readings have fluctuated, Heskett said the situation was under control.

In some instances, Heskett thought the higher readings came from a combination of blood and grease run-off. A lack of rain also can skew numbers.

"You've got to take all of that into account," Heskett said.

Even with the high influent rates -- readings for wastes coming into the city's wastewater treatment facility -- Heskett said effluent-treated water to Tonganoxie Creek is below the required standard.

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