EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) - Strange but true, one New Mexico town has a problem because it does not have enough sewage.
If you build it, they will come.
That is how the saying goes and that is what Edgewood Town Administrator Karen Mahalick said they thought would happen when they a new $7-million wastewater treatment plant in 2009.
"That was always the idea with the economic development of the town was that the plant would help facilitate the economic development," Mahalick said.
The plant was designed to draw new businesses to the corridor along Route 66 because businesses would rather have a hook-up than septic tanks.
However, just as workers were putting the finishing touches on the facility the economy collapsed.
Three years later and they are having an interesting dilemma.
"We're not getting enough flow," said Mahalick adding, "most plants have more flow than they want, we want more flow than we have."
The plant operator said there are times when there is nothing coming in.
It may not seem like a big deal but without a steady stream of waste pushing through the lines hydrogen sulfide gas builds up in the pipes and in the plant itself and that is a big deal.
Mahalick said when the gas builds up it causes corrosion effecting electrical components in the plant.
"It eats the components in the basins, it's a concrete basin so eventually it would break down the concrete itself and pit the concrete," Mahalick said.
That has already started to happen in the intake basin.
The town is weighing its options trying to find an affordable fix; it can either flush the lines with the treated water that comes out of the plant or add chemicals to the lines to neutralize the gas.
Whatever they choose Mahalick said it is only temporary because she expects business to start booming again meaning more business for the plant.
The town said it plans to have the fix in place in the next few weeks.
In the meantime they are keeping the plant well ventilated so the gas does not harm workers.
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