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Major upgrade planned for South Basin

In the aftermath of the storm system that washed out roads in Covington County earlier this month, more than 8 million gallons of water was processed in the City of Andalusia’s wastewater treatment plant in a single day.

Most of that spike from the normal one million gallons per day was related to storm water seeping into sewerage lines. But a major upgrade planned for the South Basin of the city’s utilities system should stop the infiltration of storm water and, in turn, extend the life of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Earl Johnson explained the project, for which the City of Andalusia Utilities is about to let bids, to the Andalusia City Council on Tuesday. The mayor said the South Basin is basically defined as the area of the city from the top of the Square south.

“If we can keep the storm water out of the treatment plant, we don’t have to treat it, and it reduces the strain on our plant,” he said. “By doing this project, we should be able to extend the life of the plant.”

The Utilities Board is working with CDG Engineers and Associates, Inc. on this project.

Carmen Chosie of CDG explained to the City of Andalusia Utilities Board last week that the project is nearly double the size of one recently completed in the city’s North Basin. The new project includes replacement of approximately 143,000 linear feet of lines, as well as inspection and replacement of the piers the hold above-ground lines in place. In comparison, there were only 70,000 feet of lines addressed in the North Basin project.

In addition to the line work, the project will address the installation of a force main artery, and reroute a sewerage line on Church Street. Chosie said the project is expected to take 270 working days, or approximately 9 months.

The Utilities Board is beginning the four-week process of advertising for bids this week. A bid conference is set for 10 a.m. on Mon., Feb. 17, and bid opening is scheduling for 10 a.m. on Mon., Feb. 24, at city hall.