Williams to make sewer plant improvements

The Williams City Council will install a new blower at the wastewater treatment plant to eliminate the ammonia levels that got the city in hot water with the Regional Water Quality Control Board last September. 

The City Council in March voted 5-0 to contract with Central Sierra Electronic for the blower, which will cost $41,325. 

City Manager Frank Kennedy said the state is allowing the city to apply the cost of the blower against their fine if they make improvements that keep ammonia levels from rising and spiking. 

“The total fine was $54,000,” Kennedy said. 

Central Sierra Electronic was the contractor that installed the original set of blowers at the plant. Blowers provide aeration in activated sludge in order to promote aerobic digestion. 

Because the equipment was proprietary in nature, the City Council was able to sidestep competitive bidding. 

Kennedy said if competitive bids were sought, the city would have to obtain plans and specifications from the company that designed the plant, which would have added about $17,000 to the cost of the project. 

The city will still have to spend an additional $12,675 to reach the equivalent of the Water Quality Control Board’s fine, but that on-site engineer costs needed for the project would go toward the $54,000. ■