History of the Water Reclamation Plant
Although no current city records deal with the earliest construction of sewers, it is surmised that the earliest sewers discharged principally into the Maumee River and its tributaries, without treatment.
The city's Bay View facility originally went into service in November, 1922, as a pump station which transferred these early sewers outfalls to a central discharge point.
Prior to completion of the pump station, the Ohio Department of Health had issued an order to provide treatment. This order brought about the construction of the East Side pump station and interceptor sewer, the Maumee River tunnel to the Bay View plant, and primary treatment facilities.
The Sewage Treatment began in the summer of 1932 and the East Side Pump Station was added to transfer sewage flow from East Toledo.
By the mid-1930s several treatment processes were added, including primary settling tanks, sludge digestion systems, chlorinating facilities, sludge beds, a laboratory and a water tower. The facility was officially known as "Bay View Park Sewage Treatment Works".
The plant's primary treatment facility went into operation in June, 1932, and the East Side pump station in July, 1933.
By the late 1950s Bay View began secondary treatment using the "activated sludge process".
Activated Sludge is a process for treating sewage and industrial wastewaters using air and a biological floc composed of bacteria and protozoa which reduces the organic content of the sewage.
The plant doubled in size when six aeration tanks and six final clarifiers were added, along with a pre-aeration processes and improvements to the grease and grit removal systems.
Pre-aeration treatment and improvements to the grease and grit removal systems were completed in March, 1959. Also in 1959, secondary treatment utilizing the activated sludge process went into operation.
The 1960s were a busy time for the plant, with many updates being added. By 1966 a new sludge dewatering facility and filter building were constructed. The sludge was dewatered using vacuum coil filters with ferric chloride and lime being used to coagulate the sludge.
In 1969, the aging primary treatment facility was ready for renovations and improvements. The eight existing primary tanks were updated and two new tanks were added. Improvements were also added to the digesters, a phosphate removal system and increased the secondary capacity to 102 million gallons per day.
By the 1970s, the plant had been expanded to accommodate the extra capacity of the City, and the collection system needed help to deliver sewage to the plant.
In 1972, the Reynolds Road pumping station and force main were added to pump flows from southwest Toledo and by 1978 a fourth pumping station was added along the Ten Mile Creek interceptor sewer system to serve west Toledo
During 1982, the Windermere pump station, force main, and the Ten Mile Creek interceptor sewer system were placed into operation.
In 1983, the Headworks was placed into operation. This facility removes settleable solids from storm water overflows.
The new sludge thickening and dewatering facilities came on-line in December, 1985. This facility uses dissolved air flotation technology and belt filter presses to dewater sludge.
From 1986 to 1989, the plant underwent two major construction projects. The first project was to renovate the anaerobic digesters, gas collection system and to add two gravity thickeners to handle primary sludge. The second project was to renovate the preliminary treatment processes and primary clarifier drive units, convert the aeration system from coarse bubble to fine bubble diffusers and upgrade the programmable logic controllers (PLC's).
In 1990, a new sludge stabilization facility came on-line. This new facility transports dewatered sludge by conveyor to be mixed with lime, kiln dust or fly ash. This mixture is then offered as a Class A Biosolids for land applications.
In 1993, renovation of the chlorinating facility and the addition of the dechlorination using sodium bi-sulfite were completed.
In 1995 to 1998, the Allen-Bradley PLC-3 was replaced with PLC-5 processors, the network was converted to fiber optics and the operator interface replaced with Wonderware graphics interface.
In 1996, 140-foot diameter peripheral feed/withdrawal final clarifier had been completed. Over time, this new system proved to outperform the existing eleven final tanks. Each final tank was converted over to the peripheral feed withdrawal system, which was completed by 2004.
In 1997, Bay View Pump Station, East Side Pump Station and primary clarifier electrical systems were renovated. Also in 1997, the Point Place Pumping Station had been completed.
In 2001, a Consent Decree was handed down by the U.S. District Court for the Northwest District of Ohio's Western Division, located in Toledo. This Consent Decree settled an 11-year lawsuit between the City of Toledo and the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA). This created the Toledo Waterways Initiative which setup and 18-year series of improvements to upgrade the City's sewer system and is estimated to cost about $521 million.
In 2002 Phase One of the Toledo Waterways Initiative begins the major expansion of the Bay View Wastewater Treatment Plant to eliminate bypasses of full treatment during wet weather and large sewer revisions. This also included revisions and pump station construction in the Point Place area as well as extensive work in the River Road area to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows.
In 2004, a backup power supply system was built consisting of six Caterpillar generators. Two of the generators run on digester gas for either back-up power or peak shaving. The remaining four generators run on natural gas or diesel fuel.
From 2005 through 2007, a 90 million dollar wet weather treatment process was constructed, which included the largest Ballasted Flocculation process in United States to this date. Additional processes included a Grit and Screening Facility and a Final Effluent Pump Station.
In 2009 Phase Two begins which involves 25 projects near the City's affected waterways as part of Toledo's Long-Term Control plan to control combined sewer overflows. Phase Two is projected to continue through the summer of 2020.
In 2011, the City of Toledo partners with Michigan State University to perform a 10-year Pathogen Study to test new cutting-edge technology to treat wastewater. The new method allows for significantly faster and potentially more efficient treatment of wastewater at the plant through a process called ballasted flocculation. The study is investigates the effectiveness of this high-rate clarification system, as compared with full biological treatment, to remove pathogens and viruses from wastewater flow. This is the only study in the nation to compare these two treatment processes and could aid in the design of future treatment plants around the country.
In 2014 the new Grit Facility is completed. This will allow all water coming into the plant to now be filtered through this facility to collect all non-organic material that washes off the roadways. This will prevent the pipe lines from getting plugged and causing backups and main breaks throughout the plant.
Over the years, the City of Toledo's Water Reclamation Treatment Plant has been dedicated to achieving clean water by meeting effluent limitations and will continue its efforts to meet ever-changing environmental demands.