Construction is in full swing at the Pollution Control Facility 10 months after members of the Hastings Board of Public Works voted reluctantly to move forward with the $10.4 million improvement project.
In 2008 the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality renewed HU's permit to operate the Pollution Control Facility with tighter requirements for ammonia discharge. The requirements are to meet rule changes by the Environmental Protection Agency and have to be in place by April 2014.
The plant treats sanitary sewer waste from the city of Hastings including residential and industrial waste. The treated water is discharged from the plant into a stream.
Representatives with Hastings Utilities and Mayor Vern Powers worked with DEQ officials asking for leeway on the project and eventually were denied the request.
The board then was forced to issue debt to pay for the project that with engineering costs totals more than $16 million. That debt means increases in sewer rates for utility customers for several years.