Lonsdale offers tours of new wastewater treatment

Lori Nickel

Special to The Times

When driving on Industrial Park Drive in Lonsdale, it is hard to miss the three large silver domes towering over the surrounding landscape. While these look like something from outerspace, they actually house Lonsdale's new Wastewater Treatment Plant.

To provide the public with information about the new facility, Lonsdale city officials and public works personnel conducted tours of the plant in operation on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Before the new Wastewater Treatment Plant was built, Lonsdale depended on a pond system to clarify and treat local wastewater. In 2003, the pond system was nearing full capacity for a population of 3000 people, so city administrators and council members developed a plan to build today’s activated sludge treatment plant.

Mayor Tim Rud explained that city taxes did not need to be raised to pay for the new facility. Instead, revenue from new housing permits helped fund the plant and continues to pay for it as new permits are sold.

A large benefit this plant provides is the small amount of city property it uses compared to the old system, according to Rud. When the old ponds were filled in and the new Wastewater Treatment Plant was built, the city gained 20 acres of land that was developed into industrial lots to attract more industries to Lonsdale.

“This treatment plant is the starting point of an industrial park, and it is ready for businesses to move in.” said Mayor Rud, adding that one of the lots is already close to being sold.

Bill Chang, a principal engineer for BDM Consulting Engineering designed the Lonsdale facility and also spoke to community members Saturday. He explained how the new plant uses a more efficient and more environmentally friendly process to clean the water. He added that this new system is also more easily controlled by public works personnel and produces very little odor, unlike the previous pond system.

I'm really excited about this new plant

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