Turks tour leachate system
WILLMAR -- Learning how to market a community as a tourist destination and seeing how to purify the toxic water that seeps from landfills don't seem like compatible topics, but a three-member delegation from Turkey got lessons in both during an a...
WILLMAR –– Learning how to market a community as a tourist destination and seeing how to purify the toxic water that seeps from landfills don’t seem like compatible topics, but a three-member delegation from Turkey got lessons in both during an afternoon tour Thursday in Kandiyohi County.
The mayors from Bitlis and Tatvan - picturesque towns located in eastern Turkey near Mount Ararat where Noah’s Ark is believed to have been found - got marketing tips for tourism and saw Kandiyohi County’s new leachate treatment system in operation.
For Kazem Oskoui, an engineer from Clark Engineering Corp. in Minneapolis who developed the county’s unique leachate system, combining tourism with leachate makes perfect sense for Kandiyohi County.
“I told you so,” said Oskoui, who was quoted in a June 5 West Central Tribune story predicting that the leachate system would be a tourist draw for the county.
The county has been fielding calls from across the state from people who are curious about the new system, but so far, the group from Turkey wins the furthest-distance award.
Oskoui has installed similar filtering systems and pumps in communities in Turkey that are currently used to treat wastewater.
The $2.8 million system in Kandiyohi County, which is used to treat leachate that drains every day from the landfill, is newer and more efficient than the ones installed four years ago in Turkey, he said.
Huseyin Olan, mayor of Bitlis, and Fattah Aksoy, mayor of Tatvan, along with Cesim Gozeten who is the the director of the solid waste association from Bitlis, were eager to see the next model to see how it could be used to bring sanitary sewer systems to small towns in their country.
Oskoui said a system like the one here is big enough to treat wastewater for a town with a population of 20,000-30,000.
The compact system fits into a small building and doesn’t require anaerobic digesters, clarifiers and acres of land for aeration ponds that are typically needed for wastewater treatment facilities.
With Oskoui has a guide, the group has been in the US for the last week and will be going next to California.
Besides the leachate system, he said Kandiyohi County also has useful information about tourism and how to operate local governments that the mayors were eager to hear about.
“They wanted to compare notes and see what they can learn from that,” Oskoui said.
The group met with the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Authority, Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl and Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin.
The delegation also hopes to forge a sister-city relationship in the area.
Innovative water treatment system draws attention to Kandiyohi County