Lawton spending big bucks to renovate wastewater plant

by Mike Ray, Southwest Ledger


The City of Lawton is investing perhaps $180 million or more to renovate its malfunctioning wastewater treatment plant.

Phase I of the upgrade includes replacement of the administration
building, influent pump station, grit removal system, trickling filter
mechanisms, electrical conduit duct bank, electrical switchgear,
automatic transfer switch for standby power, primary effluent
pumps, polymer feed system and several additional upgrades.
That project started in 2022 and those improvements are costing
$85 million reported the Southwest Ledger.

The renovations are being financed with a pair of Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans of $47 million and $72.9 million issued to the Lawton Water Authority, Public Utilities Director Rusty Whisenhunt informed the City Council recently.

City officials have asked the state Department of Environmental
Quality for an eightmonth extension to complete the Phase I projects, which would result in a new completion date in August

Phase 2 of the WWTP rehabilitation project is in the design stage,
Whisenhunt wrote in a May 13 letter to the state Department of
Environmental Quality. Phase 2 of the wastewater treatment plant overhaul will cost approximately $90 million and “aims to expand solids handling, ultraviolet light disinfection, and sludge digestion,” Whisenhunt said.

The Phase 2 design will take Garver engineers approximately 15
months to complete, Whisenhunt informed the Water Authority
on May 14. The design work is being financed “in large part” from a $6 million Federal Communities Grant received last year, and remaining funds available through a CWSRF loan obtained in 2022, he said.

In a related matter, $5 million will be spent to replace water and sewer lines in “high-need areas” of town and to construct a “dewatering facility” at the sewage treatment plant. Those projects will be financed with a $2 million American Rescue Plan Act grant from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, coupled with $3 million in matching city funds, records reflect.

Lawton’s wastewater treatment plant, which is at 8104 SE 15th St. between Gooden Road and Tinney Road, went into service in 1977, records reflect.