Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

New equipment purchase leads to sewage treatment deal between City of Rhinelander, Country FestSubmitted: 05/15/2019
Story By Lane Kimble

New equipment purchase leads to sewage treatment deal between City of Rhinelander, Country Fest
RHINELANDER - You can imagine the kinds of things that end up in the port-a-potties during the four-day Hodag Country Fest each summer.  The event produces up to 300,000 gallons of sewage with beer cans and other items that can't be processed floating in the mix.

Now, all that sewage will get treated by the City of Rhinelander.

The city and the Country Fest owners agreed to filter and treat the sewage at the city's plant along Highway 17 a few miles south of town.


According to Public Works Director Tim Kingman, Country Fest has been interested in such a deal for years, but Rhinelander didn't have proper equipment to sift through beer cans, bottles, and other solid items from Country Fest, nor did it always have the capacity.

That started to change after the city built its new treatment plant in 2011.

Through a City Council vote Monday night, Rhinelander agreed to pay for two-thirds of a $35,855 pricetag on a 'Mega Screen Septic Receiving System" that gets the job done. Country Fest will pay for the other third.

The equipment, which is essentially an 8-foot by 6-foot box screens out "undesirable" materials, which a worker with a rake sends to a different shoot for disposal. The liquid waste goes through the filter while the solids that can't biodegrade go to the landfill.

"It is a fair share negotiation and it is a benefit to parties even beyond those who negotiated," Kingman said.

The deal could mean 10 to 15 deliveries of sewage per day brought in from Country Fest by a private contractor.  Kingman says the treatment plant has more than enough space to handle the extra load, which will equate to about 15 percent of the waste the city treats every year.

The plant processes about 1,900,000 gallons of waste each year. Liquid waste generally gets treated in about two days, then pumped into the Wisconsin River as cleaner fluid than the river itself, Kingman said.

Rhinelander brings in upwards of $100,000 in revenue from septic and holding tank waste companies sending waste through the system. The treatment plant currently operates at about 50 percent capacity.

Country Fest has hired private companies to haul its waste away each year, but that can get expensive. Kingman sees this deal as win for both sides.

"The city and all the community members have a strong backing of this event because it provides so much benefit to our community," Kingman said.

The city and Country Fest need to sign a finalized Memorandum of Understanding before the deal is complete.

The city ordered the new equipment just hours after the Council approved its purchase. Kingman expects it to arrive by July 1, in time for the festival which starts July 11.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

WOOD COUNTY - State Highway 13 is closed in both directions just south of Wisconsin Rapids due to a crash.

+ Read More

ARPIN - A tractor versus truck crash in Wood County caused significant injuries after the tracker operator was thrown from their seat.

It happened shortly before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

The tractor was traveling north on County Hwy K when it was rear-ended by a truck.

The tractor driver was airlifted to the hospital by Life Link of Marshfield. The truck driver was treated for minor injuries and let go.

The names of those involved are not being released at this time. 

The Wood County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol will investigate the crash. 

The Marshfield Police Department, Arpin Fire Department and Pittsville Ambulance also responded to the scene.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - A new furniture gallery at the Wausau Center mall hopes to bring back customers and jobs to the struggling shopping center. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Health Department told people to stay away from a popular freshwater spring this week after tests showed high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.

The Crescent Spring on South River Road joins the nearby Rhinelander municipal Well 7 with high PFAS levels.

The Health Department and DNR don't know where the contamination is coming from.

"Especially when we're talking about the Crescent Spring and the sheer number of people that get their water from the Crescent Spring, we definitely wanted to be proactive [in keeping people away from it]," said Todd Troskey, an environmental health specialist with the Health Department.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - ArtStart in Rhinelander features the work of artists from all over the world in many different mediums. 

Now it'll share the life story of two famous Mexican artists.

+ Read More

FORT SCOTT, KS - A man charged with tampering with a vehicle owned by two missing Wisconsin brothers is facing new charges in Kansas.

The Kansas City Star reports Garland Nelson is charged in Bourbon County, Kansas, with endangering the food supply. Prosecutors say Nelson didn't have proper health papers when he took 35 calves from his family's farm in Missouri to a farm in Fort Scott, Kansas, in May.

+ Read More

GREEN BAY - Dash cam video captured a wild police chase in Brown County last Friday. The driver led police across two counties and into oncoming traffic.

The chase began when someone called 911 to report a dangerous driver.

The chase reached speeds of 100 mph as Jonathan Tease, drove into oncoming traffic. It lasted about 45 minutes and covered more than 40 miles.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: