Facing rapid community growth, the Town of Jackson recognized the need to review wastewater system operations and identify potential improvement options to continue achieving, or surpassing, state discharge requirements, protect the ecosystem, and provide cost-effective utility services. Trihydro performed a technical review, which included performing a condition assessment of an existing wastewater treatment plant, reviewing existing data, identifying potential system improvements, and developing a process to evaluate the potential system improvements.

Constructed in the late 1970s with its last major modification in the mid-1990s, the Town of Jackson’s wastewater treatment plant serves permanent residents and several satellite districts in Teton County. The Town of Jackson contracted Trihydro to complete a technical review of the wastewater treatment plant to better understand current operations and define short- and long-term wastewater treatment and effluent water quality monitoring and discharge improvements.

The Town of Jackson is dedicated to achieving wastewater discharge quality that outperforms permit requirements. To achieve its goal, the Town of Jackson established a six-member steering committee with extensive water quality and ecosystem experience to help guide the technical review. Further, the Town of Jackson invited 10 external stakeholders to partake in technical discussions and provide input on proposed wastewater treatment plant improvements.  

Serving 10,000 year-round residents and 4 million tourists each year, the wastewater treatment plant consists of 10 lagoon cells, a preliminary treatment building and influent pump station, various aeration systems, an intermediate pump system, and ultraviolet disinfection. Wastewater treatment plant discharge flows through a constructed barrow pond and wetland series before discharging to the Snake River. 

Trihydro began with a wastewater treatment plant condition assessment, through which the project team evaluated current operations and equipment. The team scored equipment based on set criteria and summarized the condition assessment in a technical memorandum. Trihydro then evaluated potential conceptual-level improvements including aeration modifications, bioreactor installation, clarifier installation, conversion to a mechanical wastewater treatment plant, water reuse, and sludge removal. The team modeled recommended improvements to predict potential wastewater quality results and evaluated each recommendation against criteria including water quality improvements, capital and operation and maintenance costs, energy usage, and training and licensing. The model is a high-level representation of wastewater treatment plant results if the Town of Jackson were to implement changes and improvements.

To gather feedback on recommended improvements, Trihydro developed a decision matrix with cost-to-benefit ratios assigned to each option and led discussions with the Town of Jackson and the steering committee. Trihydro compiled the condition assessment, recommended improvements, decision matrix scores, and project findings into a final technical report. Trihydro then held a public forum to discuss the technical review process, present project findings, and answer questions. 

A decision matrix with cost-to-benefit ratios helped the Town of Jackson and the project steering committee discuss and evaluate recommended wastewater treatment plant improvements.



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