Conewago has low bid for project Treatment plant needs filter press

June 06, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Conewago Contractors of Hanover, Pa., is the low bidder for a project to improve the Hampstead Wastewater Treatment Plant, according to Thomas Rio, chief of the Carroll County Bureau of Building Construction.

The $892,486 bid was the lowest of five opened Wednesday.

But the low bid was higher than the engineer's cost estimate of $797,700 for the plant, Mr. Rio said.

The county has 60 days to assess the bid and look for the extra money, he said.

Ron Ireland, superintendent of the Hampstead Wastewater Treatment Plant, said Thursday that the improvements include a machine called a belt filter press and a building to house it. The press would squeeze the water out of sludge produced by the plant.

Currently, sludge is spread by hand over sand-covered fields and allowed to drain, Mr. Ireland said. The dried sludge must then be gathered by men with rakes, he said.

A belt filter press is "much, much faster," Mr. Ireland said.

Because the machine operates indoors, he said, it can be used in any weather.

Carroll County has asked the Maryland Department of the Environment for permission to increase the volume of discharge from the Hampstead plant into a nearby stream from the current 500,000 gallons a day to 900,000 gallons a day.

Mr. Ireland said the new machine is needed before the discharge can be increased.

"We definitely can't handle the increase in sludge that will come with the increased flow" without the new press, he said.

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