City declares emergency to fix clarifier

Published 9:45 am Thursday, January 19, 2017

A broken part on one of the clarifiers at the city’s water treatment plant on Haining Road has forced the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to declare an emergency to get it fixed.

The declaration allows the board to amend its contract with Greenbrier Digging Services of Brookhaven, which recently completed repairs to the plant’s other clarifier.

The clarifier is one of two 49-year-old clarifiers installed at the plant in 1968 and used to soften the water during the treatment process by mixing lime during the process. The broken part is part of the rake system used to remove the lime that sinks to the bottom of the clarifier, public works director Garnet Van Norman said.

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He said after the meeting it will cost $192,500 to make the repairs, and new part is being made by the manufacturer and will be delivered in about nine weeks.

“The cage that holds the rakes is all twisted and bent,” Van Norman told the board. “What we’re having to do is fix that one because we’ve got to have it.”

He said he did not know what caused the basket to twist.

“The cage is warped,” he said, adding the damaged clarifier has been shut down, but could be used in an emergency.

In another matter, two companies submitted bids for a new clarifier for the wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road, with Hemphill Construction of Florence bidding $1.99 million and T.L. Wallace of Columbia bidding $1.47 million.

Both bids were taken under advisement.

The clarifier was damaged in February when water from an unknown source cut its way under the clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant and forced its way up, lifting the clarifier off its pilings and out of the ground, and bursting several pipes under the concrete basin.

The clarifier is one of two at the treatment plant and is part of the wastewater treatment process.

Each clarifier is 100 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep. The damaged unit was shut down, and the plant has been operating with one clarifier.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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