Wilder EQ Tank
The wet-weather equalization (EQ) tank in Wilder, in coordination with the adjacent Licking River Siphon project, eliminates about 47 million gallons of typical year sanitary sewer overflow (SSO).
Campbell County Judge Executive Steve Pendery attended a dedication ceremony for the tank and thanked SD1 for its commitment to making the environment safe and providing the infrastructure needed for a vibrant economy.
“I’d say if you were to create a list of all the projects essential to the future of Northern Kentucky and at the same time underappreciated for one reason or another, there are a lot of sanitation projects that fit the bill,” Pendery said. “Over the course of my political life and across various administrations, including the current administration at the sanitation district, we have had a fabulous partnership among people who want nothing more than to make our lives safer and our community prosperous.”
The Wilder EQ Tank, which was originally planned as part of Phase II of Clean H2O40 (2029 Milestone) stands 61 feet tall and has a diameter of about 150 feet. When full, the tank can store about 7.3 million gallons of sewer system flow, preventing the region's sewer system from becoming overwhelmed by wet-weather events.
"We are proud of our Clean H2O40 partnership with the Kentucky Division of Water and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and we are committed to finding innovative and cost-saving ways to improve local waterways," SD1 Executive Director Adam Chaney said at the dedication ceremony. "Wilder Mayor Robert Arnold and Campbell County Judge Executive Steve Pendery have been important partners in this work, and I want to thank them for their continued support of SD1 and our critical mission."
Clean H2O40 relies upon a controlled storage and release approach to overflow mitigation. Tanks like the one dedicated today in Wilder hold excess sewer system flow until a wet-weather event passes, and then slowly release the flow back into SD1's system. Like smart stoplights can be programmed to reduce traffic during peak drive times, SD1 is upgrading its system to be able to reduce sewer overflows during peak system flow.
This smart-sewer management approach is an effective and economical alternative to traditional grey infrastructure. "We're making our sewer system smarter," Chaney said. "We can no longer afford to simply build bigger and bigger pipes and wait for them to become overwhelmed by larger and larger storms."
While the original price tag for Clean H2O40 was about $1.3 billion, that number has been nearly cut in half thanks to the controlled storage and release approach. And the EQ tank projects are proving even more economical than SD1 had expected. The cost of the Wilder EQ Tank was anticipated to be about $20.5 million but ended up only $12.4 million.
Prior to the Wilder EQ Tank, during a typical year, the area served by the tank experienced about 46 sewer overflow events per year, averaging more than a million gallons of sewage escaping the system and entering the Licking River each time. It was the most significant sewer overflow area in Northern Kentucky.
Wilder Mayor Robert Arnold said now that the EQ tank is complete, the city plans to further develop Frederick’s Landing, including building a bridge over Three Mile Creek and improving the land north of the landing. He emphasized that the new EQ tank is a win-win for everyone involved.
The designer of the project was Wade Trim Engineering and the contractor was Dugan & Meyers Construction.
Estimated Capital Cost:
5 MG typical-year SSO elimination