The Department of Environmental Conservation on Thursday announced an agreement with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough that resolves the Talkeetna Wastewater Treatment Plant's past permit violations and gets the system back into compliance.

The borough agreed to pay about $60,000 in penalties, resolving all violations, and to spend about $7.7 million to complete the necessary upgrades. 

Its violations date to 2014 when it started failing to meet the state's discharge permit standards. The borough made repairs after an engineering analysis, and water quality improved, but they weren't enough to bring the facility into full compliance.

“By the summer of 2018, it became clear that the recommended repairs were not sufficient and the plant would require a capital upgrade,” said Terry Dolan, public works director.

The plant provides water and sewage treatment for about 200 residential and commercial accounts. It also serves about 300,000 tourists each year.

HDL Engineering Consultants is under contract to design the plant upgrade, which officials hope will meet Talkeetna’s needs for the next 20 years. The borough expects construction to start next summer and be completed by the end of 2020.

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