SOLVING Problems and BUILDING Value
Improvements to the wastewater system have been identified by the Town of Culbertson as high-priority infrastructure improvements due to health, operational, and environmental issues. A field review was conducted by WWC Engineering to observe conditions of the sewer mains, lift station, and wastewater treatment system. Sections of the existing sewer mains have deteriorated and settled, leading to blockages and sanitary sewer overflows into residences in some areas of Town. The lift station has reached the end of its service life, and the original plumbing design contributes to frequent blockages. Minor blockages have led to overflows to adjacent areas accessible to the public and connected to the Missouri River via roadside ditches. The treatment lagoons, originally lined with native clay and designed to discharge to a surface drainage, now leak approximately 6.9 million gallons annually to underlying soils and groundwater. The project included sewer main replacements, a new lift station and force main, along with new wastewater treatment lagoons and a new discharge to the Missouri River.
The Town’s rapidly expanding population due to the Bakken Oil Boom had created a significant need to increase the capacity of the wastewater collection and treatment system with little room for expansion of the existing lagoons due to property constraints. WWC designed a new aerated lagoon system and facilitated easements with property owners to provide a new wastewater effluent discharge to the Missouri River.
WWC assisted the Town with grant writing that received over $2.3 million in grant funds for construction.
WWC prepared a new MPDES permit application for the Town’s new wastewater effluent discharge to the Missouri River that was reviewed and approved by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality with no comments. This is the first MPDES permit reviewed by the MDEQ to be approved with comments.