You may notice a very formal “Hearing Notice to Consider a Resolution for Authorizing the FIling of a Petition for Judicial Confirmation Under the Idaho Judicial Confirmation Law” posted in today’s CDA Press today. What this really means is that the Coeur d’Alene City Council will be holding a public meeting on December 18th at 6:00 in the Community Room of the Coeur d’ Alene Library to review and approve moving forward with obtaining funding for the required wastewater treatment plant upgrades.

The $33.5 million price tag represents Coeur d’Alene’s efforts toward the Spokane River clean-up. For years regulators and pollution dischargers have been navigating the route to the Spokane River clean-up. This route has led to the need for tertiary treatment for many of the Idaho dischargers.  Presently, Coeur d’Alene’s wastewater undergoes primary and secondary treatment in a biological and chemical process where physical, chemical and biological contaminants are removed before being discharged into the Spokane River.

The new Tertiary Treatment facility is expected to result in total phosphorus being removed before being  discharged into the Spokane River. Total phosphorus reduction in discharge amounts will allow Coeur d’Alene Wastewater Treatment plant to meet their permitted Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements. It will also aid them in meeting limit requirements for Ammonia and BOD.

They plan to meet the new limit requirements by implementing ZeeWeed Ultrafiltration membrane technology. This “membrane” looks like tiny white drinking straws that utilize pressure barriers to suspend the yucky stuff and yield water with very high purity and low silt density.

Coeur d’Alene has already spent  ~$4 million testing this technology in a “full-scale pilot project” which has been processing approximately one fifth of the millions of gallons of waste water that pump through the facility each day.

So what does this mean for the rate payers? An 8% increase or $2/month increase in your wastewater bill each year for the next 5 years.

For example:

2012 monthly bill averages ~$24/month.

2013 monthly bill will average ~$26/month

2014 monthly bill will average ~$28/month

And it also means cleaner water, which is everyone’s goal at the end of the day!