A project that has been years in the making, and is considered the biggest project in the history of the area, is soon to officially start in Sacramento, California.
The “Echo” project is to begin in May, but some preliminary work has already started.
“With an estimated price tag of about $2 billion, the sewage treatment plant project is expected to be twice as expensive as the new passenger terminal at the Sacramento International Airport and more than four times the cost of the future downtown arena.
“I think we are the biggest project in Sacramento County history,” said Vick Kyotani, program manager for the Sacramento Regional Sanitation District.
The current sewage treatment plant, located between Sacramento and Elk Grove, was completed in 1982 at a cost of $460 million.
It cleans the waste water of 1.5 million in the greater Sacramento region and discharges it into the Sacramento River, near Freeport.”
The purpose of the project is to reduce ammonia emissions and to ultimately make the water in the Sacramento River Delta cleaner, for the environment and for consumers.
By addressing the ammonia problem in good time (it was first pointed out in 2010), Sacramento is showing good signs of forward planning and anticipating future demand.
Inframanage.com notes that the phase building of updated water and wastewater treatment plants has been underway for over a decade now.
In infrastructure asset management terms the building of new or updated treatment plants is an increase in the level of service being provided.
This increase in the level of service has been brought about by stricter environmental controls (sewer treatment) and the desire for better protection of public health (water treatment).
Increased levels of service for treatment assets inevitably cost more (capital, operational and maintenance costs), and this has been part of the ongoing infrastructure funding debate.
When expensive new treatment plants are being built in the same period that phases of infrastructure renewal are coming on stream, the additional costs to customers can be high.
Credit to Sacramento for getting this project underway.