Representatives from Cooper Engineering and Webster Public Works will be out checking to see how much sludge is in the Webster sewer ponds.

Public Works director Jay Heyer said the process would be similar to ice fishing.

“They will drill about seven holes in each of the ponds to see how much sludge is in there,” Heyer said. “That information will help the engineers out with the estimates for removal.”

Webster has three treatment ponds, two were built in the 1960s and the third was built in the early 1990s and none of them have ever been drained, according to Heyer.

“The older ones are probably eight to ten feet deep and the newer pond is probably about 10-12 feet deep,” Heyer said.

In July, Heyer reported that there could be anywhere from 18 to 36 inches on the bottom of those ponds and could add up to thousands of ponds of sludge that would need to be removed.

Where would the sludge go?

Heyer has been in contact with a local farmer who has agreed to spread the sludge on their fields.

“This should lessen the cost of hauling it,” Heyer told the Sentinel last year. “If we can spread it locally and don’t have to truck it to another facility, it will be a huge benefit and cost saver.”

A soil test will need to be done to make sure the farm can handle the sludge. If the farm doesn’t have enough space for the sludge it will need to be trucked to a separate facility and Heyer was not certain of those costs.

Heyer has been in contact with a number of companies about the ponds and reported to the board last year that it could cost up to $100,000 to remove the sludge from each pond.