Grand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant celebrates expansion completion

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 9:49 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island Public Works Department invited the public, City of Grand Island, Wastewater Treatment Plant employees, construction partners and Mayor Roger Steele out to the new and improved facilities Wednesday morning.

The $3.4 Million project brought renovations for the laboratory, the administration side of the building, expansions to their operations room, added security upgrades to keep their employees better protected and more.

“We tried to be as efficient as possible by keeping the older part and expanding it,” said Steele.

The expansion was recently added on to the building, which was originally built in 1975. Before the additions and renovations were made, Levi Wicks, a lab technician at the treatment plant, noted that the previous lab had a few issues.

“The temperature control was not great,” Wicks said. “A couple days in there it hit like 96 degrees because the A/C didn’t work. It was a rough environment sometimes.”

The new lab is about twice the size of the previous one, giving the technicians more personal space and room to get their tasks done. Wicks remembered when the construction finished up and he was able to take his first tour of the new facility.

“It was great,” he said. “There was plenty of space, everything is brand new, we have plenty of room to expand. We test all of the water that comes in and out of the plant to keep the plant running efficiently ... Grand island really needed it.”

Not only did the expansion bring along more space for the treatment plant workers, Mayor Steele said it’s helping to improve the city as a whole.

“This is exactly how we should use the taxpayers’ money, we’re building for the future, we’re making sure our infrastructure is in place, so that Grand Island can grow and the city services can grow with it,” Steele said.

A large conference center was also built onto the facility during the expansion, where the treatment plant staff planned to host more training sessions for subjects such as microscopic biology.

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