The rebuilt third digester – a tank where sludge and food waste is cooked to kill pathogens and create a biogas that is burned to generate electricity – is in operation, said consulting engineer Jason Wert of RETTEW Inc.
“It is making gas,” he told the authority Aug. 3. “I think this multiyear issue is put to bed.”
The tank was built during the water pollution control plant’s expansion in 2010-11, but was never put in operation. The authority got into a spat with contractor A.P. O’Horo of Youngstown and former consulting engineer Herbert, Rowland and Grubic Inc., which has a Hermitage office, over whether the digester was damaged and who was responsible for it.
They reached a settlement 13 months ago with money going between them that essentially covered the cost of tearing down the digester and building a new one – $767,807.
APO essentially subcontracted out the work, said consulting engineer Jason Wert of RETTEW Inc.
“A.P. O’Horo’s not had a lot of involvement,” he told the authority in May.
“They drive through every couple weeks,” added Tom Darby, authority manager and plant superintendent.
On Aug. 3, Wert recommended the authority approve final payment of $4,800 to O’Horo, contingent upon working out a few remaining details.