Port Wentworth Gets $17.5 M in Stimulus for Water Reuse Facility
Late last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Beverly Banister along with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), and the city of Port Wentworth broke ground on a wastewater treatment facility in Port Wentworth, Ga.
The wastewater infrastructure project is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“This Recovery project is about vision, strong partnerships, water reuse and conservation, investment in communities and a strong commitment to safeguarding human health and the environment,” said Acting EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Beverly Banister. “It will have the benefit of making reclaimed or reuse water for irrigation as a substitute for potable water in an area of limited groundwater resources and will provide for a population expected to increase from less than 10,000 to over 22,000 by the year 2020.”
The project received a total of $17.5 million in ARRA funds. With ARRA funds from EPA, Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) distributed $10 million, of which approximately $4 million of the principal will be forgiven as part of the stimulus provision to create jobs and improve infrastructure as a precursor to economic growth. Port Wentworth, in addition, received $7.5 million through ARRA from USDA Rural Development.
The new wastewater treatment facility will be able to process 2.0 million gallons per day (gpd). The facility will be located on 22 acres west of the Savannah River and less than a mile southeast of I-95. The new system will use technology to introduce oxygen into the effluent or discharged water, which is a requirement for discharging into the Savannah River. The project will include two super oxygenating cones, also called Speece Cones, which have been in use for about 20 years primarily by commercial businesses like pulp and paper factories. This appears to be the first time the technology will be used in this way by a municipality. The project is expected to create and/or preserve approximately 100 jobs in the area.