Hi, my name is Jerry Mendoza, I am 15 years old and I go to Caruthers High School in California. I am going to inform you about the wastewater treatment plant in Caruthers. The Caruthers Community Service District is in charge of wastewater and water, and they applied for funding from USDA Rural Development to expand the wastewater treatment plant and upgrade the plant’s treatment process. The reason they need this project is because the facility needs to be able to exceed the government’s levels for a wastewater treatment plant, also they wouldn’t be able to add additional housing in the town.
The plant is almost at capacity and the Regional Water Quality Control Board is requiring that the District also adds Nitrification/Denitification to the treatment process. The estimate project cost is $2,503,000 and USDA Rural Development approved a low interest loan of $1,515,000, and a grant of $998,000 for this project. The funding is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition, this project is currently being designed by Provost & Pritchard Engineers.
Before I went to the wastewater treatment plant, I went to the Caruthers Community Services District office to meet with Sally Tripp from USDA Rural Development and David McIntyre from the District. I learned a lot of stuff, like it takes a long time to plan, design and get approval before you actually start making any changes on the plant. Also, you have to have a certain degree to work at the facility and there are engineers that specialize in working with wastewater designs and how they work. It takes a lot of people to work on projects like this.
I visited the wastewater treatment plant on July 29, and my experience was that it wasn’t as I thought it would be. I thought it would look like a factory plant and that all the stuff would be inside a building, not outside. It was fun learning about how the wastewater treatment process works. And guess what? It doesn’t smell over there, which was nice because if it had smelled I would probably not be writing this.
The project has not started construction yet because they are still working on the design, and that is going to take 6 to 7 months. I plan to go and meet with everyone again about the project and will report again about it. I think that this project might take a couple of years to finish.