The City of Branson Utilities Department is currently in the process of a budgeted $1.3 million project to improve and upgrade the City’s sewer services that will ultimately save ratepayer dollars. This scheduled replacement of old equipment at the Cooper Creek wastewater treatment plant will upgrade equipment and parts that have reached their life expectancy in the debris removal and plant effluent clarification processes.
In the planning process staff intentionally considered and selected replacement equipment with advanced technologies. Particular focus was given to equipment that would lend to the lowest future operations and maintenance cost, thus saving ratepayer dollars in the long term.
The main components that are being upgraded are called “plant clarifiers.” These units are the heart of wastewater treatment and separate treated water from the plant biological process. Existing components were badly deteriorated after 20 years of use in the harsh environment. The new components are stainless steel, and while the initial cost for the stainless product was higher than a standard steel design, the continuous repainting of the standard steel components outweighed the capital cost of going with stainless steel. The lifespan of the new components is also expected to be 50% longer than standard steel components. The hydraulic function of the new components are also advanced and will improve the separation and water clarification process. This improved hydraulic technology was utilized during an upgrade of the City’s Compton Drive wastewater treatment plant in 2010 and has proven highly successful.
New pumping equipment is also being installed. Due to old age, the existing pumps required intense maintenance to be kept operational and reliable. Since this equipment is located in lower areas of the treatment facility that are more susceptible to flooding, staff selected a submersible pump, but one that can operate without being normally submerged. Should a flooding situation occur the new pumps will withstand the conditions. The new units are compact and operate under high efficiency thus saving on electricity consumption.
Additional upgrades include new screening equipment which will better remove debris and materials that typically enter treatment facilities with the incoming flow. If not removed, this material will eventually damage pumps and facility process equipment.
This project is scheduled for completion in April 2019.