The City of Findlay began treating wastewater on January 28, 1933 after the construction of a 5.0 MGD (million gallons per day) primary treatment facility. This facility was built on the old Hydraulic Brick works site that later would become known as the Broad Avenue sewage plant. Prior to this treatment facility, all city wastewater would discharge into local creeks and the Blanchard River causing the river to become severely polluted and stagnant.
The addition of this treatment works only slightly improved the quality of water in the Blanchard River. Due to continuing complaints regarding the river, the State Board of Health ordered the City of Findlay to expand the treatment works in 1937 to include a 3.0 MGD secondary treatment system. Starting with this expansion, the sewage treatment works was equipped with a large garbage grinder and all garbage collected by city employees would be disposed of at the treatment works. This practice continued until the organic load on the plant became so great that the plant could not produce an acceptable effluent.
In 1953 the State Health Department issued a clean-up order for the Blanchard River. This would produce another upgrade to the treatment works, which would increase the secondary system to 5.0 MGD.
In 1965 the State Health Department standards became more restrictive on the effluent discharge into the Blanchard River and the City of Findlay would again have to upgrade the treatment works to meet these standards. This expansion brought the secondary system to 7.5 MGD and also provided for disinfection with the use of chlorine gas.
The City of Findlay received new discharge limits from the OPEA (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency) in 1984 which the City was to achieve by July 1, 1988. A plan was developed for a new 6.0 MGD oxidation ditch facility and reducing capacity from 7.5 MGD to 5.0 MGD at the existing facility. Construction started in December 1986 and the new facility was on line in June 1988. This expansion would include two oxidation ditches, two final clarifier and a solids processing facility at the new River Road plant. Many modifications were needed at the old Broad Avenue facility to increase its efficiency.
In 1995 an engineering firm was hired by the City of Findlay to develop a Wastewater System Master Plan to develop a cost-effective environmentally sound strategy for expanding the City’s wastewater system to accommodate anticipated growth. The collection system would also need improvements to eliminate CSO (Combined Sewer Overflows) and increase reserve capacity. On January 17, 2000 construction began to expand the River Road facility to 15 MGD average flow and 40 MGD peak flow. This construction included two new oxidation ditches, three final clarifiers and an ultraviolet light disinfection unit. The facility went on line July 9, 2001 with the flow discharging into the Blanchard River. The original activated sludge facility at the Broad Avenue location was decommissioned and razed during this project.