The Town of Palisade is moving forward with a study exploring solutions to either replace its aging sewer plant with a new facility or pump the waste to the Clifton Sanitation District, Town Administrator Janet Hawkinson said.

The town’s current plant uses lagoons and is situated on the east side of Riverbend Park. Those lagoons must be decommissioned, Hawkinson said.

The town, utilizing grant money awarded by the Department of Local Affairs, tasked an engineering firm to study the amount of waste the town produces, the cost to install a new plant and the cost to send the waste to Clifton.

The Clifton Sanitation District’s state-of-the-art Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility came online a decade ago. The former plant’s lagoons were reclaimed and today are used to graze cattle and grow grapes, among other uses. Hawkinson said the Clifton facility is only at 50% capacity.

The cost of a new Palisade sewer plant would likely be much more expensive than sending the waste to Clifton, Hawkinson said.

The study will be completed in approximately six weeks, Hawkinson said, at which point the Board of Trustees will need to weigh in on the next steps in the process.

Water treatment upgrades

Not to be confused with its sewer plant, Palisade’s water treatment plant is getting an upgrade after the Board of Trustees voted to spend nearly $40,000 to upgrade its computer systems.

Hawkinson said the water treatment plant is a newer facility, which uses advanced safety features as well as solar power in its design. Since the facility is newer much of it is computerized, Hawkinson said, and needed updates to its software.

“We have really good water,” Hawkinson said. “We like our water. We have a new water treatment plant. We just have to update the computer software because it is a very sophisticated system.”

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