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Wastewater treatment plant begins operating

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POLSON – Two years after plans were finalized, Polson’s wastewater is being cleaned with a new system. The new facility started operating on April 24. As of that day, sewage is not being directed to the old system. 

Water and Sewer Superintendent Ashley Walker announced the news to the city commission. He said the system is functioning well. 

“It’s doing better than I would have imagined in less than two weeks,” he said.  

Walker said the biology in the system is developing as expected. 

According to Walker, the only hiccup with the start-up has been some “nuisance alarms” — false alerts.

Swank Enterprises of Kalispell completed construction, and DOWL-HKM of Bozeman engineered the project. The full project cost the city $17.2 million. A patchwork of loans and taxpayer money was used to fund the project.

Before the new facility was built, sewage lagoons were used to treat the city’s water. Those lagoons are still being drained. In a few weeks time, the old system will be shut down completely, according to Walker. 

At the May 7 city commission meeting, interim city manager and police chief Wade Nash announced that this summer three police officers would be certified to patrol on bicycles. 

“Our officers are interested in this,” Nash said. Bike patrol officers, according to Nash,  will be valuable at community events and for patrolling the bike paths in the city. 

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