September 2016

September 2016


While we all like to enjoy summer time vacation, we’ve also had a busy summer around the treatment plant with dry-weather projects.   We had an ambitious list of work to get the plant ready for our winter discharge season, and the fellas exceeded all our expectations.   They completed all the work safely and efficiently, and the result is increased reliability for our systems that we use to comply with stringent regulatory requirements.

These projects included:

  • Influent Channel Cleaning (Annual Maintenance)
  • Aeration Basin Cleaning and Diffuser Rehab (Annual Maintenance)
  • Outfall Pipe Repairs (Corrective Maintenance)
  • Secondary Clarifier Cleaning and Repairs (Bi-Annual Maintenance)
  • Primary Sedimentation Sludge/Scum Pump Manifold Repair (Corrective Maintenance)
  • Grit Chamber Cleaning and Repairs (Annual Maintenance)
  • Trickling Filter Feed Pump Replacement and Installation (Corrective Maintenance)
  • Tertiary Filters Media Replacement (5-year overhaul)
  • Process Feed Pumps Rehab (5-year overhaul)
  • 49 Lift Station Pump Rehab (Planned Maintenance)
  • Sunset Lift Station Pump Inspection (Planned Maintenance)
  • Oak Shadows Lift Station Pump Repairs (Corrective Maintenance)
  • Mountain Oaks Lift Station (Planned Maintenance)

We also kicked off our School Outreach efforts with the San Andreas Elementary School.  Our theme this year is “Preserving the Watershed” and we hosted about 105 students from the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade out for a plant tour.  The students got to perform some real, hands-on testing of pH and temperature of our water.  They also performed hands-on demonstration of a pump and turning wrenches on the workbench.   It was a fun day and we’re looking forward to seeing the artwork the students submit for our 2017 Calendar.  More news to follow later in Fall.

As we head into Fall, our plant will transition so we are ready to discharge water to the river, once the rainy season starts.   When we discharge to the river, our water requires advanced treatment to remove all ammonia that can be harmful to fish and wildlife.  This level of treatment takes extra diligence from our certified Operators, and they’re investing time in refresher training and safety training to make it happen.

One question that was posed to me recently:  What do we mean when we say “strength” of the wastewater?   The “strength” of wastewater is measured by the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and is an indicator of how much impact the waste will exert in order to be treated.  If our treatment plant doesn’t adequately remove the BOD, then the receiving waters will have a difficult time maintaining minimum levels of dissolved oxygen that is necessary to support aquatic life.   The receiving waters could also have unseemly aesthetics that makes it hard for humans to enjoy.

We hope you have a great kickoff to the autumn season.