Onsite Septic Systems and Maintenance

Onsite Septic Systems and Maintenance
Leaching chambers installed at beachfront snack bar

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Leaching chambers installed at beachfront snack bar

Problem: Sandy Beach at Lake Morris in Bantam, Conn., was undergoing a renovation, including the installation of a new snack bar with a grease trap, bathrooms and a bath station. Since the existing septic system from the 1950s was outdated, a new innovative system was needed to provide enough storage to accommodate the updates.

Solution: Contractors at Green Construction Management LLC consulted with CULTEC Inc. to design and install a Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection-approved subsurface septic system that would provide increased storage and dispersion of sewage effluent. The contractor installed a 2-inch pipe that pumps approximately 400 feet across the beachfront, where it meets a splitter valve system. The splitter valve separates into four distribution boxes, which then run on top of two 100-foot double rows of CULTEC Contactor 100HD plastic leaching chambers – 54 chambers total. The 2-inch line features 1/4-inch holes every three feet that drain into the chambers.

Result: This new system design provides efficient handling of the snack bar’s increased sewage flow. The municipality reports no issues. 800/428-5832; www.cultec.com.

Sand filter provides solution to cabin converted to a full-time dwelling

Problem: In southcentral Pennsylvania, homeowners were attempting to turn a 50-year-old cabin into a full-time residence. In the rustic dwelling, an outhouse was used, while a 5-gallon bucket beneath the floor collected graywater. A small pump discharged graywater to the surface at the rear of the property. Ultimately, concerns of the adjoining property owner led to an investigation by the municipality, and the property owner was required to upgrade wastewater facilities. Lot size, well-isolation distance, site accessibility, absorption area, location and dwelling placement limited options.

Solution: The Eljen Geotextile Sand Filter system was chosen. Additional constraints included placement of the dosing tank and property line proximity that required a lower installation height for the system. Time dosing of the system was an additional attractive feature, as the absorption area had been reduced in size to accommodate the property.

Result: The outhouse is gone and adjoining property owners are satisfied. 800/444-1359; www.eljen.com.

Product used to pretreat bakery wastewater

Problem: A full-service bakery in Ohio has a plant for pretreatment of bakery waste before discharging wastewater to the municipal wastewater treatment facility. The average daily wastewater influent to the pretreatment plant has a concentration of 6,000 to over 100,000 mg/L CBOD; average TSS of 6,000 mg/L, and oil and grease concentrations of 800 to 1,000 mg/L. The average daily flow is 15,000 to 25,000 gpd. This waste is treated aerobically in an activated sludge system consisting of two 50,000-gallon aerated tanks in series; then it is pumped from the second tank onto a gravity belt with polymer being injected into the waste stream.

Solution: EarthWorks Water Treat 10 from Green Way Products by PolyPortables was added to the system at a 2-gallon initial charge, then a quart per day for a 10-day period, and then a pint per day as a continuing maintenance dose. The object of adding it to this system was to increase biological activity and further reduce the oil and grease.

Result: The second aeration tank took on a darker brown color; there is no longer any grease buildup on the paddles of the gravity thickener belt, and there has been a reduction in the polymer dosage of approximately 70 percent over previous levels. The average effluent discharge to the local wastewater treatment facility has a CBOD average of less than 200 mg/L, TSS of 200-400 mg/L, and an average oil and grease of 15 mg/L or less. 800/241-7951; www.greenwayproducts.net.

High-performance compact technology upgrades failing shopping plaza system

Problem: Installed over 30 years ago, the failing septic system of the Wilson Creek Shopping Plaza in British Columbia, Can., no longer met environmental standards. It was unable to treat its high-strength wastewater or handle high flow variations produced by many shops and restaurants. Pumpouts were frequent and the advanced treatment plant was beyond repair. The existing leaching bed was still functional, but showing signs of clogging. Half of the old system was installed behind the shopping mall, and half in the front. To maximize land value, the new treatment installation would need to be compact and processes consolidated in one location.

Solution: Premier Tech Aqua collaborated with Telder Engineering Ltd. for the design and installation of the treatment plant. The new treatment station consists of septic and equalization tanks and one Segflo Recirculating Biotower treatment unit. After pretreatment, wastewater flows by gravity to a pump chamber and into the existing leaching bed.

Result: The high performance of the treatment station allowed for the regeneration and recycling of the existing disposal field – an economical solution that reduced the amount of land disrupted during installation. All tanks were installed below grade except for the Segflo unit, which was partially exposed. This portion was insulated and provided a mounting structure for the treatment plant control panel. With a design criteria for influent of 1,000 mg/L in CBOD5 and 300 mg/L in TSS and an average daily flow of 3,170 gpd, the system consistently provides performances of 230 mg/L in CBOD5 and less than 30 mg/L in TSS. 800/632-6356; www.premiertechaqua.com.

Vent filter eliminates septic odors

Problem: After installing a new septic system, a homeowner in Lake Mohawk, N.J., complained of odors in his yard. The contractor installed residential vent odor filters on the tank vent on the roof vents. The filters improved but did not eliminate the problem. The contractor reviewed the problem with Simple Solutions and determined that the problem was due to tank vent airflow exceeding the typical levels. The home is built into the top of a hill, and the holding tank is located at the bottom of the hill. The discharge pipe is approximately 75 feet long and drops approximately 15 feet. The modules are located on the side of the house above the holding tank. Water was running into the tank either from one of the home appliances, or from feed lines when the discharge pumps were turned off.

Solution: Simple Solutions Distributing recommended the contractor replace the vent filter on the discharge tank with a larger solar-powered Super Wolverine vent filter. The Super Wolverine can eliminate odorous airflows up to 10 cfm, and the solar fan actively vents the tank, reducing accumulation of sewer gas.

Result: The odor problem was eliminated and the customer can enjoy his lake home without nuisance odors. 866/667-8465; www.industrialodorcontrol.com.

Biofilter system installed in environmentally sensitive park area

Problem: The White Lake Campground located in Manitoba, Canada’s Whiteshell Provincial Park required a new wastewater treatment system to replace its temporary holding tanks and ongoing hauling costs. A permanent and sustainable solution for wastewater management was essential for this environmentally sensitive area.

Solution: J.R. Cousin Consultants prepared the wastewater treatment design. The 4,919 gpd system consists of pretreatment using D & L Concrete and Fibreglass Products belowground fiberglass oil/grease, septic, and balancing tanks, a Waterloo Biofilter Systems biological filtration treatment unit, followed by UV disinfection to produce high-quality effluent that is discharged to a Waterloo Biofilter shallow area bed. The treatment system is equipped with remote monitoring and control for advanced operation and maintenance.

Result: This system consistently meets the effluent objectives for CBOD/TSS (10 mg/L), ammonia-nitrogen (5 mg/L), and fecal and total coliforms (500 and 1500 cfu/100 mL), despite anomalously high flows during early operation. J.R. Cousin won the 2011 Environmental Award of Excellence given by the Manitoba Association of Consulting Engineering Companies. 519/856-0757; www.waterloo-biofilter.com.


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