Sanitation Engineers Needed! Franklin County is a remote and rural community that has recently run into difficulties attracting qualified treatment plant operators for its wastewater treatment system. The current chief operator has recommended to the governing Sanitation Board the idea to explore automating the plant to fill this needed position.  They would like the technical and cost analysis to determine how/which automation is affordable for the community and what the best path forward would be for financing any of the equipment or improvements.

Project Background

To accommodate the lack of sufficient staffing for the wastewater treatment plant, the Chief Operator is considering options for automation of the treatment plant to reduce reliance on staff labor. The plant is relatively new (built in the 1990s) and likely does not need major equipment replacement, but modifications of existing equipment to accommodate any sort of system automation.

Project Scope

The scope of work would involve the creation of a report outlining the technical design and associated costs for plant automation. This would include looking towards intake and effluent automated samplers to report out regulatory reporting data, blower and pump automation to adjust process flow to accommodate changing influent conditions, and looking at auto-dialer alerting and notifications for the operator to respond to critical system failures.

About the Community

The rural farming community is around 200 individuals of varying economic status. The wastewater treatment system services approximately 163 residences located in the center of town but does not serve the broader outlining farms. Given the small size of the system and the high cost of engineering services necessary in this portion of the State, the Chief Operator attested that the Sewer Commission does not have sufficient funds to afford an engineer to conduct this study.