Deer Lodge Wastewater Treatment Plant
Like many small communities, Deer Lodge was faced with expensive improvements to their wastewater treatment facilities in order to come into compliance with stringent nutrient limits. Typically, this would involve upgrading their existing facility. However, unlike similar projects, numerous unusual challenges had to be overcome first including excessive infiltration into their collection system that was exceeding 2.5 million gallons per day. This was over five times the flow expected for the population.
Requirement aside, working in the area itself proved to be the biggest challenge of all. The project engineers had to obtain a formal land exchange and a Special Use Permit with the National Park Service. This came with designing the facility so it would not cause visual and aesthetic impacts to the adjacent Grant-Kohrs Ranch, a National Historic Site. Morrison-Maierle’s team negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Montana State Historic Preservation Office.
Further complexities happened during construction when it was discovered that a bald eagle nest a ¼ mile from the project site. This required Morrison-Maierle to obtain an Eagle Take Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Other usual requirements included widening the access road to the WWTP that required a new railroad crossing from BNSF Railway and filling Cell 4 of the existing lagoons required obtaining a Letter of Map Revision from FEMA.
Any one of these challenges may be expected on a typical project, but having all of these combined in a single project is unlike any in Montana to date. By working collaboratively with community partners in order to meet these usual federal and state mandates, Morrison-Maierle Water-Wastewater engineers were able to design a long-term and cost-effective solution for the city’s wastewater treatment facility that will contribute to the continued vitality of Deer Lodge.
Services provided: Design engineering, bidding, construction phase services, survey, project management, client management, coordination with stakeholder and grant and load agencies.