The blasts in the quiet neighborhoods off Hardy-McManus Road may not be Independence Day revelers with a bag of firecrackers. It could be actual dynamite.
The Columbia County Water and Sewage Department is doubling the size of its Little River Water Pollution Control Plant.
Construction crews are blasting large rocks so they can be moved out of the way to make room for the big pit that will house the new wastewater treatment basin.
"We're expanding (the Little River) plant from a 3-million-gallons-a-day facility to a 6-million-gallons-a-day facility," said Bill Clayton, the director of the water and sewage department. "Basically, it'll be a duplicate of what you already see out there."
The plant treats the sewage by mixing it with microorganisms that eat and attach themselves to the waste. That process makes the microorganisms heavier than the water, so the clean water rises to the top and is separated from the waste.
Darnell Douglas of Controlled Blasting Inc. drills a hole for dynamite at the Evans sewer plant construction site.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Next, they'll start pouring the concrete form and the concrete structure," Clayton said.
When completed in the fall of 2004, the $7 million addition will enable Little River to service about 3,500 more homes.
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