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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta District The Lethbridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, August 23 1974 PAGES 15-28 LETHBRIDGE SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT On good days they perform environmental miracle here Other days RAW SEWAGE ARRIVES PRIMARY CLARIFIER AERATION TANKS Second of a series On good days, Lethbndge's 6 million secondary sewage treat- ment plant performs nothing less than an en- vironmental miracle Foul smelling, dark colored raw sewage flows ceaselessly into the river valley plant Sparkling clear water you could drink if a touch of chlorine was added to it, emerges at the other end Responsible for this modern-day alchemy are millions upon millions of microbes mostly bacteria, which make their breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks on the organic material in the sewage The city plant, com- pleted in late 1971, uses the activated sludge" process which brings together biologically degradeable compounds in the presence of microbes and large amounts of dissolved ox- ygen pumped into the effluent After screening at the headworks where large ob- jects like rags and sticks are removed, sewage flows into primary clanfiers where floating solids are skimmed off the top and the heavier ones sink to the bottom and are removed as sludge From the primary clanfiers the effluent goes into three large aeration tanks where the critical stage of secondary treat- ment takes place It s here that air is pumped into the sewage for six to eight hours and the micro-organisms go to work breaking down the organic compounds in the effluent If all goes according to the book, the bacteria, which have multiplied as a result of eating the com- pounds in the sewage and the end products of the decomposition process form what s known as a flocculant" mass which flows with the effluent into the final clanfiers Here the "floe" settles, taking any suspended solids left in the effluent with it to the bottom of the tank leaving clear water to spill over the top for dis- charge to the river Left at the bottom is the activated' sludge which can then be recirculated to the aeration tanks to con- tinue the process or be sent on if not needed through digesters and thickeners to the sludge drying cells Under a microscope in the plant laboratory, properly floculated ac tivated sludge appears as clumps of closely grouped cells But if the process gets upset filamentation" will occur leading to poor settl ing in the final clanfiers and the escape of suspend ed solids into the river Under the microscope filamentous bacteria shows up as cells joined by long thin strands And this according to sewage plant process engineer Steve Cellik, is an all too frequent occurence at the Lethbridge plant The plant exceeded the provincial environment department limit for suspended solids discharg- ed into the river on 191 days in 1973 and exceeded the biochemical oxygen de- mand limit on 44 days Filamentous organisms can be caused by many complex conditions, but one such condition is overloading of high strength wastes In this situation there is simply too much food for the micro-organisms to handle But here arises another problem If the microbes don t get enough food, nitrification may occur, again preventing effective settling in the final clanfiers, allowing escape of suspended solids into the river The problem, says Mr Cellik, is there's no way of predicting plant loadings ENGINEER STEVE CELLIK TESTb EFFLUENT A line graph showing the daily strength of sewage influent at the plant has more peaks and valleys than the Himalavas One reason for this is simplv that Lethbridge isn t big enough That mav sound like a contradiction but in bigger cities like Calgary high strength in- dustrial wastes get diluted b> larger volumes of domestic sewage It s a multi-faceted situation says Mr Cellik With no consistency in the loading we don t know what effect is caused by changes in the process Another problem is that when the organic process is thrown off by high strength wastes it can take three weeks to a month to get it back in order During that time effluent of a strength higher than the environment depart- ment limit is getting into the river robbing it of ox- vgen and hastening plant growth in the Oldman downstream from Lethbridge Story by Andy Ogle Phil lllingworth photos The environment department which is about to publish its semi annual report on the condition of Alberta s major river basins says the Oldman is in reasonably good health As a general statement the department says water quality drops off somewhat between Lethbridge and Taber but not that much According to tests taken monthly for 13 months above Lethbridge, near Picture Butte and above and below Taber, the Oldman had what are con- sidered acceptable levels of dissolved oxygen content the BOD loadings were not too high the odor was well below limits and oil and grease content were within prescribed limits Phosphates which hasten plant growth contributing to removal of oxygen from the water when the plants die and decompose were at higher than natural standards in some spots but not at a level considered serious SLUDGE DRYING BED THREE CHARGED IN 'HAT SLAYING Two men and one woman from Ontario appearing today in provincial court in Medicine Hat, were each charged with non- capital murder in connection with the beating death Thursday of a 'Hat gas station attendant Charged are Richard Joseph Denommee, 22, of Brampton, Allan Charles Parker 19, of Pembroke and Catherine Smith, 21 of Sudbury Peter Van Erde, 17 of Medicine Hat, died at 9 a m Thurs- day in Calgary hospital, seven hours after being struck on the head during the robbery of Red s Shell Service Medicine Hat Police said they picked up the suspects when they returned to the Hat after unsuccessfull} trying to hitch a ride to Calgary Police said was taken in the robbery Vice-regal Cree to visit battleground Lieutenant-Governor Ralph Stemhauer s first official visit to Lethbridge will commemorate the last great inter-tribal Indian battle in North America Mr Stemhauer, a Cree may have had some ancestors who participated in the battle some time in Oc- tober 1870 Bread price The price of a 20-ounce loaf of bread could increase by as much as three cents next week following announced bread price increases in Saskatchewan and British Columbia Some local bakers today suggested bread prices could increase by as much as three tents next week if Alberta s major bakers announce an increase in Alberta as they did in the two neighboring provinces All indicated the increase is needed to offset increasing material prices Officials of McGavin's Toastmaster announced Thursday bread prices in Saskatchewan would increase bv one cent Monday In British Columbia the firm an- nounced prices would be increased in the near future, but would not name the day or amount of increase In Lethbridge McGavin Toastmaster manager Pen Tunbndge said a bread price increase is definitely necessary and would likely take place as soon as someone in the company s head office decides on an increase A three-cent increase for a 20-ounce loaf of bread in Lethbridge would raise the retail prices at at most bakeries to 38 cents a loaf One local baker Fred Hess of Fred s Bakery is already charging 38 cents a loaf and will not increase his prices again if the major bakers in the province increase bread prices next week Centre Village IGA Bakery definitely will add three cents a loaf to their bread prices next week but hasn t decided on the exact day the increase will take effect The one-cent increase in Saskatchewan boosted the wholesale price of bread to 35 cents for a 20-ounce loaf Retail prices are expected to increase by at least one cent a loaf Prices now range to 41 cents a loaf in that province Most local bakers cited sharp increases in materials such as shortening and plastic bags as the culprits of the increased cost of producing a loaf of bread Alex Kogler manager of the North Side Bakery said today the cost of plastic bags more than doubled this month The bags increased from less than one cent a bag to two cents a bag Another local baker pointed out consumers could save two cents a loaf if they wouldn't demand the plastic bag They will be paying two cents a loaf more for it but thcv will still demand it and then throw it in the garbage when they get home he added It arose out of long- standing enmitv between the Blackfoot Confedera- tion and the nations of the Cree An estimated 300 Blackfoot Blood Peigan. Cree and Assimbome were killed in the battle waged along the Oldman River beloyv where Lethbridge now stands A Cree force reinforced by Assimbomes was wiped out when it attacked what it believed to be a small force of Blackfoot decimated and weakened bv a smallpox epidemic The force was larger than the Cree expected and the Black oot were armed with repeati ig rifles Mr Stemhauer and other platforrr guests will par- ticipate in a ceremony Sept 6 at 2 p m to commemorate the batt'e The ceremony will take place near the university campus on a site overlooking Indian Battle Coulee where a plaque will be unveiled One of those included in the party will be Pete Potts, grandson of Jerry Potts, the Northwest Mounted Police scout who fought for the Blackfoot Confederation in the battle Representatives from all levels of government, historical societies the Blackfoot Peigan and Blood tribes the RCMP and local school boards yvill also be present Dog owner must stop 'nuisance' A 40 year old Lethbridge man who pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault causing bodilv harm was remanded in provincial court Thursday to Sept 9 for trial Joe Oczko 328 13th St N Suite No 5 was charged Aug 13 after a man was cut with a knife Oczko is free on his own recognizance A 53-year-old Lethbridge man who was found guilty of having a dog that was a public nuisance was given two weeks to do something about his dog before sentence would be passed Court was told by two neighbors of Jack Rickaby, 1419 30th St S Mr Rickaby's dog barked when anybody went up the back lane On several occasions the dog had kept them awake at night Mr Rickaby told the court although his son is very fond of the dog he had told him it was a border collie and belonged on a farm Provincial Judge L W Hudson agreed with Mr Rickaby and said he was a dog lover but Mr Rickaby's neighbors were entitled to their sleep Some logs don't belong in town he said ;