In 2008, the Monongalia County Health Department (MCHD) issued a report regarding health issues in the community of Crown brought about by the lack of appropriate wastewater collection systems. Some of the residences utilized undersized and failing individual septic systems, while other sewers discharged directly into streams.
Comparing the waste conditions to those seen in Third World countries, the MCHD turned to the Greater Paw Paw Sanitary District (GPPSD) to start a project to install, operate, and maintain a sanitary sewer system and improve the overall health and environmental conditions in the community.
Evaluating Project Alternatives
We were highly involved in the preliminary assessment and planning for the project and worked with GPPSD, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), and the Monongalia County Health Department to evaluate different options to collect and treat the sanitary sewer. The evaluation included different collection and treatment technologies and considered project cost and funding opportunities to ensure the project is affordable. Our background and experience with various types of wastewater projects allowed for a thorough evaluation of the alternatives to determine costs.
The solution was installation of a decentralized collection and treatment system. The innovative design combined a conventional gravity collection system with a modified Septic Tank Effluent Pump system. Due to space constraints throughout the community, individual septic tanks could not be utilized, therefore the sewer would be collected to a pump station by a conventional gravity system and pumped to large community septic tanks at the treatment plant. The effluent is treated utilizing a recirculation sand filters an is discharged subsurface through a drip irrigation field instead of a direct surface discharge. Working closely with WVDEP, the project qualified for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund “Green Infrastructure.” This would ensure that costs to GPPSD’s existing customers, as well as the future Crown customers, would be minimized.