Two contracts for work on the Academy Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant are on the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission’s Thursday agenda.

Upgrades to the plant, the largest of three, have been a high priority for the utility for a long time, and have been at the front of Executive Director Jimmy Junkin’s mind nearly since he joined the utility in 2016.

The treatment process at Academy Creek involved injecting oxygen into the sewage in aeration basins.

“When you’re using pure oxygen, and you’ve got a lot of organic materials, which is what’s in those basins, it can create explosive mixtures,” Junkin said.

One contract utility commissioners are expected to consider deals with installing analyzers to detect and stop chemicals from forming that may create explosive gas.

Low explosive limit analyzers detect when chemicals that may create explosive gas, like methane, begin to build up.

Once detected, it injects air into the system to break them up.

“The two newer ones have them, though they’re in disrepair,” he said.

He said the analyzers will go a long way toward improving safety for workers at the plant, who have to break up explosive-gas-creating compounds through less reliable means without the analyzers.

“This is a very important fix at the plant to help us run better and more reliably and safer,” Junkin said.

The first contract also involved installing and leasing new oxygen tanks. The other contract calls for improvements to the sewage drying and disposal process, he said.

Money for the repairs will come from the utility’s reserves.

Also on the agenda is a transfer of ownership of private infrastructure to the JWSC and a discussion of responding to encroachment in the North Cottages neighborhood on St. Simons Island, among other things.

The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in the utility’s office, 1703 Gloucester St. in Brunswick. An orientation for new utility commissioners is set for 1 p.m. on the same day in the same location.

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