EORWA receives award

Members of the East Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority team includes, front row, from left, Lori Hendershot, Roger Stewart, Valerie Moore, James Schramm, Marvin Husarik, Michael Dobbs; and back row, from left, Dylan Garloch, Chad Buska, Lloyd Christy, Dana Kalinski, Matt Ford, Scott Antonik, Erik Canter, Don Johnson and Jeff Vaughn.

BELLAIRE — The Facility Image Award was recently presented to East Ohio Regional Water Authority at Southeast Ohio Water Environment Association’s Regulatory, Biosolids, and Award Seminar in Delaware, Ohio.

The award was to recognize Ohio Water Environment Association members who have enhanced the physical image of their work facilities.

The East Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority is a regional wastewater plant that serves four communities on the Ohio River, the Ohio Valley Mall at St. Clairsville on Interstate 70, and areas between the mall and the Ohio River.

The original facilities were constructed in 1964. The facilities were comprised of a primary treatment plant; 47 regulators and diversion manholes; interceptor sewers; and 16 lift stations.

The collection facilities intercepted old community sewers discharging to the Ohio River and creeks and routed them to the treatment plant. In the early 1980s the plant was expanded to secondary treatment with the addition of pure oxygen activated sludge and secondary clarification. During the period 1998-2000 several upgrades were made to the plant including renovations to the activated sludge process; a new headworks facility; and the addition of an egg-shaped anaerobic digester. In the mid-2000s the Authority received approval on a Long-Term Control Plan to comply with the CSO Policy.

East Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority President Roger Stewart, SEOWEA President Brenda VanCleave and Valerie Moore, EORWA executive director, pose with the Facilty Image Award EORWA recently received. Photos Provided

Beginning in 2011 under new leadership, EORWA began planning for upgrades to the collection system since nothing had been done since its original construction. A CMOM program was adopted with the help of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership.

Two large diameter force mains (18 inch and 20 inch), one major and two smaller lift stations have been replaced. Currently, complete piping replacements for the two main lift stations that serve the plant and a 16 inch force main replacement are being bid.

The CMOM program will continue well into the future, replacing aging 55-year-old collection facilities.

In 2013, EORWA began discussions with quasar energy group to upgrade the anaerobic digestion facilities at the plant for receiving and processing biomass materials to produce additional methane gas for the production of electricity at the plant.

The impetus for this was to be able to gain additional revenue through tip fees generated by waste haulers bringing in biomass materials and through producing the amount of electricity that the plant normally purchases from AEP.

The additional revenue would be used to stabilize future customer rate increases and to provide capital for future projects. The overall project was determined to be feasible based on a market study.

The project began in earnest in 2015 and began accepting and processing biomass materials in early 2019 at a cost of approximately $5.3 million. EORWA owns 100 percent of the new resource recovery facility with quasar managing the biomass sourcing.

With these current upgrades, they have rebranded their facility as a Water Resource Recovery Facility with a new logo on their egg-shaped digester.

EORWA looks to the future with optimism in having the financial means to fund future projects and also minimize rate increases to their customers, officials said.