SKIDMORE, Mo. — The Skidmore wastewater plant project, in the works since 2015, has seen a major cost increase due to new water quality data and the subsequent additional equipment needed to meet Missouri Department of Natural Resources requirements.

Emily Wicoff, civil engineer with Snyder & Associates broke news of the $2.1 million price point — nearly double the project's original estimated cost — during last week’s regular meeting of the Skidmore Board of Aldermen at Newton Hall. She told board members that because of some more recent testing data, additional equipment would be needed to provide additional time for organic treatment of the sewage in the plant.

According to a Snyder & Associates memo to the Missouri DNR, the company recommends the installation of a SAGR media bed to add a nitrifying step after the trickling filter treatment. This will allow nitrifying bacteria more time to remove the ammonia from the waste.

Wicoff also told board members that the plant sees a large amount of inflow and infiltration from stormwater during rain events.

“(We) have to stop it from bypassing the correct flow,” she said.

According to a graph provided by Wicoff, the maximum peak plant usage last summer was in July when the plant saw 40,000 gallons per day. Average usage for the city is 12,000 gallons per day. In 2015 when Snyder & Associates performed its first wastewater treatment plant flowmeter study — during wet weather — it found an average flow of approximately 70,000 gallons per day.

“A comparison of current average water usage (12,000 gpd) with average dry weather flow (34,000 gpd) indicates that I&I results in a daily 250 percent-plus flow increase to the wastewater plant,” the memo noted.

To combat this, the company recommends construction of a flow equalization basin to provide some level of operational flexibility during high rain events.

Members of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments joined the meeting by Zoom and told the board they along with Wicoff would be working on funding possibilities.

“Is there anything that can be deleted from this or minimized in this to take the price down a little bit?” asked Mayor Sandy Wright.

Wicoff responded saying she hopes that her estimate is high, and that the I&I is not necessarily required to get the plant to the level required by the state, but that she didn’t add “fluff,” and believes the city does need the I&I repairs listed in the project construction.

“At the end of the day I know that this will give you a better treatment system,” Wicoff told board members.

According to an estimated project schedule she provided to board members, should funding be secured by June 1, engineering plans could be completed by Oct. 1 and construction start as early as June 1, 2022, leaving time for review and the bidding process. The schedule lists a possible completion date of Aug. 1, 2023. 

Other news

  • Board members approved Ordinance 2021-SR which details the cost for sewer service provided by the city. Cost of service is $35 for the first 1,500 gallons and 50 cents on each additional 1,000 gallons. Another change of note, the ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to occupy, use or otherwise live in any home or residential structure within city limits that is not serviced by city water and sewer within two weeks of occupancy.
  • The board tabled two other ordinances regarding water service and cemetery rules and regulations after necessary revisions were found.
  • Wright told the board and small audience that the Food Pantry will be open from 1 to 3 p.m. March 29 and 4 to 6 p.m. March 30. Alderman Rana Killingsworth noted that Second Harvest Community Food Bank Fresh Mobile Pantry food drops are scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 25, April 22, May 27 and June 24 at the ballpark.
  • BP Meters installed four new water meters on Feb. 25 to allow the city time to test and review statistics. Before the meeting began, board members reviewed the data available from those meters remarking that it’s very current compared to other systems reviewed.
  • The city spoke with Dustin Strueby of Strueby Plumbing who is offering to contract with the city to manage the city’s water system. No decision was made during the meeting.