Frankford water plant set for June startup

Imagine this: fresh clean water pumped out by a brand spanking new water plant and channeled directly to your faucet.

That Brita filter could become obsolete and the Culligan man will surely get fewer calls, because the Frankford Town Council has taken the action to get its two-year old dormant water plant up and running by a tentative mid-June completion date.

The Frankford Town Council received a grant from the state Office of Drinking Water (Division of Public Health) for up to $500,000 to complete the inactive water plant.

“The old plant is going,” said Frankford Town Council Secretary Maynard Esender. “Everyone has had an old car that they won’t put another alternator on it or put any more work into it, and that’s what’s happening with our old water plant. All we would need is a pipe to burst and Frankford would be without water,” he said.

Currently, the plant is in disuse because it was improperly connected to the South Coastal Regional Wastewater Facility in Sussex County. According to Frankford Town Clerk Terry Truitt, McCrone Engineering Company made an assumption that the plant would be able to discharge to the county system without first getting approval of the county.

The county wasn’t in a position to accept the full load of Frankford’s refuse water and now new solutions are being dredged up.

In order to get real progress, the Frankford Town Council hired a Davis, Bowen & Friedel (DBF) engineering team that Esender called, “a bunch of straight-shooters.”

First things first, the DBF team will have to determine the routing and current backwash flows of water treatment byproducts from the new plant to the county wastewater plant. Frankford will be given the OK to turn on their pump for a one-time shot to see if the plant is fully operational.

Principal Engineer Chuck Hauser of DBF mentioned that there are a number of small problems with the plant that will be fixed through the loan, after the test run.

The Frankford engineering team also will have to develop a storage area for the water treatment byproducts. But one option is already floating around.

Frankford is considering backflush into a drainage pond, which would actually let the town recycle the water, after the sediments fall to the bottom. The sediment would then be scooped out and hauled away.

Before any work can be done, the Frankford Town Council will have to determine if it will use interim financing. The $500,000 will be doled out as work needs to be done, but there is a long trail that must be traversed before money changes hands. The paperwork for the project must be sent to the state before the bank will fork over the money, which could take up to 30 days. Interim financing would allow Frankford a line of credit through the state to allow for an expedient process and get the water plant back online as soon as possible.