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Hospital weighs lagoon options

Basin Republican Rustler of Basin, Wyoming

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South Big Horn County Hospital Board members discussed different options for their lagoon at their monthly meeting Wednesday.

According to hospital administrator Jackie Claudson, early estimates for a new lagoon were near the $280,000 range, but the price tag has since soared into the $400,000 to $1.2 million range.

With the drastic gulf in the estimates, the board debating which option would be the best one to take.

Options the board will consider include expanding the current lagoon, building a new lagoon, building a small water waste plant and using the city of Basin sewer system.

Whatever option they choose, the lagoon has to follow DEQ and USDA guidelines, according to Claudson.

With Claudson having a variety of different emails from the engineers and the USDA, the board advised Claudson to go back to the USDA to get more information on their options.

"You got a paper trail and I would tell you go back to them and say you have invested in a building that we can't afford to get the poop out of," board member Jeff Grant said.

According to Claudson, she plans on having a conference call with the USDA and the engineers later this week to discuss the possibility of enlarging or relining the current lagoon.

"We planned the new addition with the first estimate we received in mind," Claudson said. "Now the estimates have nearly quadrupled from $200-something thousand to $1.2 million."

GDA Engineers based in Cody has been working with the hospital on different options for the hospital.

According to Project Manager David Bergh, the hospital's current lagoon was built in the early 1960s.

It is a two-pond lagoon that sits roughly three quarters of an acre across the highway from the hospital.

The top pond is where waste flows in. There is a minimum of a 180-day detention time for the pond. During that detention time bacteria in the pond essentially eats away the waste and "grayish" water will then flow into the second pond located next the railway by the Big Horn River.

"Their current lagoon is undersized," Bergh said. "Whatever option they choose we would do the lagoon up to code."

According to Claudson, the hospital will have one year to bring the lagoon up to code after the new expansion is open.

Claudson also stated in the meeting that they should have the keys to the new addition in early November. No opening date has been set for the new addition.



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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015



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