Approximately 10 years ago, a centralized wastewater treatment and land application system was installed in the county of Accomack County, VA by a local engineering firm. Since the time of its installation, it has undergone some significant revisions that modified the use of the current holding tanks and activated sludge basins, ultimately using approximately half of the design capacity to handle the current wastewater flow for the town.
According to the current operator of the system, there were multiple operations and engineering design concerns when he inherited the operations. The primary concern is the inconsistency in discharge effluent that inconsistently meets regulatory standards under the current discharge permit. Due to these discharge violations, the State DEH office in charge of regulating these land application systems has indicated that no new connections can be permitted without a time period of consistent compliance with these regulations. Ultimately this may require a re-submittal of the current discharge permit, which does not accurately reflect the current unit processes, nor the total inflow to the system itself. In addition, the operator has indicated that there are no current plans for the operation of the system, nor standard operating procedures for modifying the system operations in the case of flooding or to adjust for seasonal fluctuations in bioactivity in the sludge processing.
This project is in need of an operation manual and SOPs related to the current wastewater treatment and land application system. Furthermore, the current discharge permit should be modified to reflect actual operating conditions with regards to waste flow and treatment technology. In addition, design or operations recommendations on stormwater management in the wastewater system may be necessary in order to normalize operations of the system.
About the Community
The community has a population of approximately 740 individuals, with the primary jobs surrounding manufacturing and retail. When asked what they will do with the end product from this project they stated they intend to use the O&M manual for both applying for permitting with the State, as well as for the proper care and operation of the wastewater system.