By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Engineer addresses environmental worries
0109 ROTmurph2
CH2M Hill engineer Wayne Murphy spoke to Rotarians Tuesday about plans for a water reclamation facility. - photo by Photo provided.
After residents raised concerns about a proposed sewage plant in Liberty County, Wayne Murphy with CH2M Hill visited Rotarians on Tuesday to set the record straight.
According to Murphy, the proposed plant is a state-of-the-art facility that will treat and store sewage water so it can be used for things such as irrigation and residential needs. As part of the system, any excess treated water that cannot be held in reserve will be released into the Laurel View River.  
“Our reserves can hold about a million and a half [gallons]. After that, you have to discharge,” Murphy said. “But, it’s highly treated water. There’s no storm water. That’s illegal.”
The plan to discharge water into the Laurel View River has led some residents to believe the environment will be harmed or altered. Murphy, however, said his company actually has gone above and beyond state requirements to ensure the estuary will remain healthy.
Murphy said the major concerns have been about maintaining healthy salinity and oxygen levels for the eco-system, the effects of adding too much water for the estuary to hold, and the possibility of creating fresh-water pockets that won’t mix properly.
The answer to most of the concerns, Murphy said, is that the amount of water they will be putting into the estuary (about 3 million gallons per day) is insignificant compared to the amount of water that runs through the river naturally every day.
“Fourteen trillion gallons of water move in and out of the estuary every day,” said Murphy, who added that during most storms, about 800 million gallons of water flows into the river.
Murphy said CH2M Hill has gone to great lengths to make sure the water mixes properly, gaining approval from the EPA and the EPD, both of which approved and encouraged the planned system.  
“They called us and thanked us and agreed one hundred percent,” Murphy said. “And we feel confident science supports everything we’ve done.”

Sign up for our e-newsletters