The long awaited – Citizen’s tour – of the Sewage Plant, technically called the
George T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant, happened yesterday.
The Citizen’s tours are a series of tours around the City (any resident can attend), to facilities and places that are seldom toured!
The Sewage tour ( the Sewage plant is on the edge of Port Everglades, off SE 17th street Causeway) was a sold-out event. Fourteen citizens, ( we were only supposed to bring ten) was mostly made up of neighborhood Presidents and the like. The local bigshots spent over an hour yesterday exploring the billion dollar plant.
former Sun-Sentinel reporter Buddy Nevins joined in the fun
The Fort Lauderdale facility treats sewage from all of Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, parts of Tamarac, even parts of Davie. It can treat upwards of 80 million gallons a day ( now that’s a lot of flushing!)
First thing you notice is ……. the smell !
Even though lots of attention ( and money) has been spent over the years on odor control, the odor is not totally under control! Attendee Jay Holloway, President of Victoria Park, told me he thought it would be tough for me to capture “the whole essence” of the tour in print – he was right!
We brought masks!
The plant is fascinating, though it was evident that it is in need of major repairs. There were numerous temporary pipes and fixes waiting for major overhauls ( and probably funding!)
local neighborhood President views some of the temporarily fixed incoming pipes
The plant has emergency devices built in like this emergency generator ready for when the big storms come and the power goes out!
Sustainability committee member Vicki Eckels with the generator
The tour, led by Facility Manager Pat Long, was quite thorough. We went through the Pretreatment Plant, the Oxygen mixing areas, the Clarifiers, even the Scum Pond! Good thing we’d gotten a face mask for sale before arriving to this facility.
Tour guide ( and Plant Manager Pat Long) …thanks Pat
This million dollar contraption ( the squeezer or presser or patty cake maker) was near the end of the tour. After this, the mostly cleaned sewage water is forced deep in the ground (deep well injection) to eventually become tomorrow’s drinking water!
sp; A fun time was had by all !