The Sweet Smell of Success
"St. Joe's used to complain about the smell," says Amicangelo. "But now, not so much."
They're already at work on the project's $95 million second phase. Amicangelo points to a gargantuan hole filled with earth-moving equipment.
"The new administration building will be away over by the river," he says. "The old building was right in the middle of the plant. We're replacing it with two new treatment trains [for liquid waste], plus a third if we need it. We've already got four in the other plant, and they will remain in service." There's nothing Amicangelo loves better than multiple backups--because otherwise, a failure can lead to discharging raw sewage into the Huron River.
In fact, the plant did discharge 10,000 gallons of wastewater into the river during a massive rain on June 27. "The amount of storm water that came into the plant with the sanitary sewer flow tripled in half an hour," plant administrator Earl Kenzie explains in a later phone call. "I've never seen it increase that quickly in the twenty-five years I've been here.