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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — For the first time in years, Colfax has received less than a perfect grade on the Compliance Maintenance Annual Report for the operation of the wastewater treatment facility.
Two sections of the report received a “C” because one discharge sample was taken instead of two samples, said Rand Bates, director of public works, at the Colfax Village Board’s June 14 meeting.
Samples are taken at the wastewater treatment lagoons on the first and the third Monday of every month, he said.
When the village started discharging May 13, 2020, that was the only sample taken for the month, Bates said.
Since only one sample was taken in May, it was considered a violation by the state Department of Natural Resources, he said.
Bates assured the village board there would now always be two samples taken every month, “no matter what.”
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the resolution indicating board members had reviewed the report.
The overall grade point average for the report was 2.94 — or between a grade of B and a B minus.
In the section related to influent, the lagoons received a deduction of nine points from a score of 100 for a grade of B.
In the section of the report related to Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), which is a measurement of the amount of oxygen required to remove waste organic material through decomposition by aerobic bacteria, regarding the number of times BOD was greater than 90 percent of the design for the lagoons and the number of times the BOD was greater than 100 percent of the design was recorded at one time greater than 90 percent and one greater than 100 percent in January, February and March and one time greater than 90 percent in November.
The incidents of BOD greater than 90 percent and 100 percent of the design resulted in a loss of 18 points from a score of 100 on that section for a grade of B.
On the section of the report related to CBOD (carbonaceous BOD, the wastewater treatment facility exceeded the permit limit one time and exceeded 90 percent of the permit limit one time for a loss of 20 points from a score of 100 on that section for a grade of C.
On the section of the report related to total suspended solids, the wastewater treatment facility exceeded the permit limit one time in July and also exceeded 90 percent of the permit limit one time in July for a deduction of 20 points from a score of 100 on that section for a grade of C.
On the section related to biosolids quality and management, the wastewater facility received a deduction of 10 points from a score of 100 for a grade of B.
On the sections related to pond and lagoon leakage, staffing and preventative maintenance, operator certification and education, financial management, collection system pumping and total power consumed and sanitary sewage collection systems, the wastewater treatment facility received a grade of A for each section.
All together, the wastewater treatment facility received a deduction of 106 points resulting in the grade point average of 2.94.
The report notes there was one basement backup occurrence in 2020.
The total amount of precipitation in 2020 was 42.6 inches, with annual average precipitation for the area being 34.5 inches.
Colfax has 7.8 miles of sanitary sewer and one lift station.
The report also notes that the village is researching the possibility of spray irrigation on neighboring farm fields versus discharging into the Red Cedar River. The village is working with an engineer, the DNR and the landowner to determine the feasibility of the project.
The report notes, too, that Colfax is currently in the final planning stages of the Red Cedar River stream bank washout project with the wastewater engineer and the Army Corps of Engineers. The stream bank washout project is scheduled to be let out for bids in the near future.