Thank you very much for committing to give us a series of articles about waste water treatment. I hope to have a better understanding after reading the whole series.
The piece about Halifax presents a rosy picture of the benefits of waste water treatment and the merits of modern treatment plants. However, it does not report on the nasty problems that Halifax experienced because the plant was cheaply designed.
The plant in Halifax was probably about $10,000 less expensive because some electrical controls were located where they could be – and were flooded. Halifax also “saved” maybe $30,000 by having a back-up generator that was not large enough to handle the load connected to it. The resulting disaster cost over $12 million as well as doing horrible ecological damage.
We need a sewage solution that has built-in redundancy of plants, pipes, and critical components. A good solution will “cost” enough up-front to save us from a financial and ecological disaster during its service life. We do not need a system with the lowest up-front cost.