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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:19 pm 
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MMSD to spend $14.9 million to filter out more condoms, debris

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By Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel

July 11, 2011 |(41) Comments

Installing new, smaller screens to remove debris, trash, plastic containers and condoms from wastewater flowing into the Jones Island sewage treatment plant, as well as other upgrades at the 25-year-old preliminary treatment facility, will cost $14.9 million, under a proposed contract.

On Monday, the operations committee of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's commission recommended hiring J.F. Ahern Co. of Fond du Lac to install the upgrades. J.F. Ahern was the low bidder.

Five debris screens with ¾-inch openings will be replaced with eight new screens with ¼-inch openings, as part of the work. The smaller mesh will trap more debris and floatable trash in the wastewater, MMSD officials said.

The commission will act on the contract at its July 25 meeting.

In April 2003, a local angler complained of thousands of condoms floating in Lake Michigan near the Jones Island plant.

The next year, MMSD installed a temporary fix: a series of nets at the end of the treatment process designed to collect condoms, tampons and other floatable trash and prevent them from being discharged to the lake. The array of condom-catching nets, and replacement nets, cost around $1.6 million.

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