A public hearing to accept community input on a proposed $3.9 million upgrade to the city of Berne's waste water treatment plant drew no comments Monday evening.
The city is under orders from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to reduce the amount of ammonia contained in waste water effluent that is being discharged from the treatment plant to area rivers and streams. Improvements must be completed by 2015.
A group of officials from Berne traveled to Lamar, Missouri, in January to view a Submerged Attached Growth Reactor (SAGR) bio-filtration system used in that city to reduce ammonia levels. Local officials liked what they saw and plan to construct a similar filtration system in Berne. Project planners say the filtration system would allow the city to meet the ammonia discharge levels as outlined in the city's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, issued under the federal Clean Water Act.
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