The equipment for the new wastewater treatment plant in Martinsburg is rolling in after months of careful design and securing contractors. Officials say they’re excited to start construction with updated sewage treatment equipment. It's all part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new pollution control mandates in helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
"This is the first time I have been involved with the process of this size and it's a new experience for me," said Kenny Michael, chief operator of the plant. "I think it's been going pretty smoothly, the contractors have been working with us as well as a engineers."
"The staff and I have been heavily involved with this for at least the last three to four years,” said Steve Knipe, utilities director for the City of Martinsburg. "It's good to get to this point. We have the contracts we are ready to start construction."
Officials say the main thrust of the project is to replace the older equipment with a device reducing the nitrogen and nutrients discharged.
"The nutrient reduction that will occur at this facility has a great impact on the Chesapeake Bay by removing the nutrients here that will not be going down the streams that will not feed the streams of the Chesapeake Bay, so that helps out the whole environment," said Knipe.
Officials say other aspects of the new plant will prevent other debris from entering the waterways, which would eventually find their way to the bay.
"Removing that trash and gravel will protect pumps and protect the down stream process as well," said Michael. "It's one of the more important parts of the process to get that entire removed first."
The $50 million dollar project is expected to be complete by 2015.
The new treatment facility is expected to serve the community for at least 20 years.