Co-owners: Sherburn truck wash could be boon

SHERBURN — Ground has been broken and dirt work completed for the Exit 87 Truck Wash near Sherburn.

Meant to bring in revenue from the trucks and trailers that frequent I-90, the facility will provide cleaning opportunities for trucks, tractors, manure tanks, boats, trailers and nearly anything else too big for a regular car wash.

Co-owners Justin Williamson and Chase Crawford say the wash could be a boon to the local community.

“This has been a long time coming; it’s a big project and a big process that we’ve been working on,” Williamson said. “Chase has been working on it for five years; I’ve been working on it within the last couple of years. Construction started about six weeks ago, and prior to that we’ve been going through the usual permitting process that’s taken up the bulk of the past two years.”

On Monday, the Sherburn City Council voted to approve the annexation of land for the facility.

“We’ve been working with them because we think it is better to be a part of the city rather than outside of city limits,” Williamson said. “It would be good for us for access to city utilities, and for them taxes and the ability to sell us water would be the big benefit.”

The wash will offer job opportunities.

“It’s hopefully going to employ between six and 10 full- and part-time individuals, depending on the season and how busy it is,” Williamson said. “We’ll for sure have a minimum number of full-time employees and it will be open for whatever the operating hours are, and it will be open 24 hours for self-serve. But if it’s busier overnight there might be a need for more employees on a night shift.”

The men discussed how water from the facility will be processed.

“We’re going to have 350-by-350-foot wastewater pond to hold several million gallons,” Crawford noted. “Water that’s coming out of these washes from the livestock trailer flush with manure and wood chips is very hard for a municipal water plant to handle. The nutrient loading in it is too high, so it’s hard on the water plants and people around the truck washes are constantly fighting it.

“Here, we’re going put the flush water through a separator and anything bigger than 1 millimeter is going to be screened off and those solids will be stored in a different location to be applied to land. The water will then be pumped out to the wastewater pond and there will be virtually no solids.

“After it’s had time to settle, we can use that water for irrigation. So instead of having the municipal water plant working real hard to remove these nutrients and then just wasting them, we’re going to use it for crop irrigation.

“It’s the most environmentally friendly way to complete that process and reuse all of those nutrients, rather than just try to flush them back into a city sewer,” Williamson said.

Construction on the facility is set to begin in a couple of weeks, and part of the annexed land will allow for the possibility of future businesses to come into the area.