The Sweet Smell of Success
"It cost $45,451,155.33," Amicangelo tells me. "The original contingency, the part of the budget for add-ons and changes, was $4,244,000, and the actual contingency so far is $3,000,228.33. We replaced a steel water line with a stainless steel water line, and the fire marshal wants additional fire alarms and strobes in some locations, altogether about $130,000, and there's not much more to do."
A big man with an easy laugh, Amicangelo shows me around the plant. Replacing the solids processing equipment without halting service was the toughest part of the job, he says, because the plant handles an average of nineteen million gallons a day--and the flow never stops. As Amicangelo says, "It's always coming down the pipe."
And there was a deadline. During the warmer months, he explains, "we produce land application, a liquid farmers use as fertilizer. But when the ground freezes in December, we switch to making cake [solid biowaste mixed with lime] for disposal in a landfill. The new equipment had to be operational by December , or what are we gonna do with the stuff?"