Why crews are moving Ogden's raw sewage to Logan

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LOGAN — Crews started moving 36,000 gallons of raw sewage from Ogden to Logan.

It's the latest part of the process to get a new wastewater treatment plant for most of the Cache Valley up and running.

Moving day can be exciting especially when what's coming out of the moving truck is going to make handling other peoples' business a whole lot easier and cleaner.

"It's just really really cool to me, and interesting," said Madeline Tennant who now manages the new Logan treatment plant. "To a lot of people, it will just look like gross brown sludge but for us, those bacteria, they're our newest employees and our most important employees because they're doing all the work."

This isn't quite the duty Tennant dreamed of, "Well, it was not what I planned on doing as a child, that's for sure," she laughed.

She believes said it is important work. "We flush our waste down the toilet and don't really know what happens to it and there's a lot that happens to it to take it from waste and treat it to clean water that we can then discharge to the environment," she explained.

For the past 50 years that cleaning happened at the old wastewater lagoon.

"It's not a very controlled biological process," Tennant said. "Because they're so big, you just kind of put the water in there and what happens, happens."

Madeline Tennant manages the new Logan treatment plant.
Madeline Tennant manages the new Logan treatment plant. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

According to current EPA standards, it's not good enough. Tests done in 2010 found too much phosphorous was being sent downstream into Cutler Reservoir.

The new $150 million plant has thousands of pieces of new equipment to help filter and separate our waste, but the real sauce if you will, happens in bio-reactors.

Tennant said, "So, it's pretty cool. We've got some brown water over here."

Tennant said that water has the bacteria needed to break down the sewage from toilets. "And that's how we're going to build our biological community to treat the wastewater."

The new plant has been under construction for about four years.

It's set to be complete in July, but only after it's all tested and confirmed to meet EPA standards.


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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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