Costly sewage plant upgrades fuel likely rate hike

Even with increase to help pay for $8.2 million in projects Port may still have lowest rate in county

PORT WASHINGTON’S wastewater treatment plant on the city’s north lakefront needs $8.2 million in improvements, which will likely be financed in part by a sewer rate increase. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington Common Council is expected to consider increasing sewer rates this year and next as a way to help pay for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.

Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said officials decided to increase the rate over two years to lessen the immediate impact on residents.

The amount of the increases is still being determined, he said, so it could be considered by the council as soon as Jan. 18.

Even with the increases, Wastewater Supt. Dan Buehler said, the sewer rate is expected to be the lowest in Ozaukee County through 2023.

The Board of Public Works on Tuesday approved hiring Strand Engineering to shepherd the improvements, which are aimed at updating the plant and improving processes and efficiencies there.

It should also improve the plant’s ability to handle treatment during wet weather.

The life expectancy of the overall project is expected to be 20 years, Phil Bzdusek of Strand Engineering told the board, adding that some equipment will have a longer lifespan and other pieces a shorter time frame.

The firm will be paid $466,000 to prepare a facilities report, a preliminary engineering report, develop the design and handle bidding for the project.

Phil Bzdusek of Strand Engineering told the board that numerous pieces of equipment and processes in the plant need to be replaced or upgraded, noting that the last time the facility was rebuilt was in the late 1980s.

Three projects are already underway, he noted — installation of an ultraviolet light system, standby generator and blower system.

Overall, he said, those projects came in about $500,000 under budget. However, Bzdusek said, it is estimated that the remaining work will increase by 15% to $7.3 million.

That brings the total cost of the improvements, including the three projects already underway, to $8.2 million, compared to the previous estimate of $7.75 million.

In addition, he said, the lead time for the equipment has increased.

Design work for the project is expected to begin in April, with bidding set to be done next January.

Contracts would be awarded in February, 2023, with construction slated to start in April.

The project is expected to be substantially completed in September 2024 with final completion slated for November 2024.


Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login