Deerfield will seek bids for wastewater treatment facility upgrades

  • Officials expect to go out to bid in a few weeks for the first phase of upgrades to the South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Facility on Sunderland Road. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/20/2021 10:33:14 AM

DEERFIELD — Officials expect to go out to bid in a few weeks for the first phase of upgrades to the South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Facility on Sunderland Road, and plan to be flexible regarding the work needed to attract contractors.

“The market is really kind of crazy right now for bids,” Select Board member Trevor McDaniel said at a board meeting last week. “Contractors are very busy.”

McDaniel explained that in looking at similar projects locally, “bids are coming in high” — likely because of the expense or unavailability of materials due to plants shutting down during the pandemic.

“And since contractors are busy, they’re not as hungry for work,” he said.

In anticipation of that, the town opted to do six bid alternates — or components of the project that are not included in the base price of a bid.

“We wanted that flexibility to take away and add different alternates to make the project affordable,” he said.

Those alternates include the plant water system, the grid removal system, a second clarifier, sludge pumps, an ultraviolet sanitation system and the sludge mixer.

“We have to do some of these things or else it isn’t worth going ahead with the others,” McDaniel said. “So they’re all laid out in progression of what’s needed next.”

McDaniel told officials that Lowell is currently the only community in New England taking sludge, which is anything that can’t be processed and released to the river. Every other week, he said, the town pays between $8,000 and $10,000 to ship the facility’s sludge out east.

“All of these improvements that we’ll be doing at our sewer plant are to reduce how much sludge that comes in that we can catch … and get out,” he said. “The less stuff we have to ship out, the more money we can save in the long-term.”

He said the bill for sludge is up 61% over last year.

“There’s nobody else to take (sludge), and there’s nothing else you can do,” McDaniel said. “You’re stuck paying the bill. Anything you can do to reduce that … is why we’re doing all this work.”

The first phase of the project at the South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Facility is estimated at roughly $11 million. McDaniel previously explained Deerfield has secured a 40-year, approximately $8 million loan (at 2.125% interest) and a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for the upgrades.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy