Connellsville Municipal Wastewater Authority visits new sequencing batch reactor

Written by Tyler Presutti

SCOTTDALE, Pa., June 5, 2017 /Wagner Fluid Systems/ — On Friday, May 12, the Connellsville Municipal Wastewater Authority Board Members, plant manager and operators toured the newly constructed Westmoreland-Fayette Municipal Sewage Authority’s (WFMSA) sequencing batch reactor (SBR) and supplementary equipment located in East Huntingdon Township near Scottdale, Pa.

Attendees of the event included Connellsville Municipal Authority Supervisor, Jerry Fox and board members, Rod Gunderson, Bob McDowell and Jodi Enany as well as all CMA employees; Westmoreland-Fayette Plant Manager, Darryl Wyke and owners of Tomaro-Pounds Engineering LLC, John Tomaro, PE and Alex Pounds, PE.

The $16 million upgrade brings the WFMSA’s wastewater treatment system into the 21st century by replacing antiquated and unreliable technology. The new facilities began operating in September 2016 and are rated for a peak hydraulic capacity of 25 million gallons per day.

Mandated by the Pennsylvania DEP and the EPA, the capacity of the facilities and corresponding interceptor were based on eliminating the bulk of combined sewage overflows into Jacobs Creek. The plant’s service area contains nine combined sewer systems by way of regulator chambers located along the existing interceptor.

These regulators previously allowed bypassing of raw sewage into the receiving stream during most rainfall events. EPA regulations require that any combined sewer system community treat a minimum of 85% of all combined wastewater flow during wet weather conditions.

Built in 1964, the original plant was prone to frequent equipment failures, while outdated parts made replacements and repairs unpredictable. The once popular trickling filter system was replaced with a high efficiency Wagner Fluid Systems SBR.

According to plant manager, Darryl Wyke, “the new system is capable of processing high wet weather flow rates with ease, delivering effluent to the outfall well below permit limits.”

Wyke said that the decaying infrastructure, high wet weather flow rate and high cost of maintenance required the authority to upgrade their system and looked to John Tomaro, P.E. (formerly senior project manager of Widmer Engineering Inc) and Wagner Fluid Systems to provide an answer.

The response was a four-basin continuous flow SBR, constructed of cast-in-place concrete and utilized state of the art wastewater treatment equipment and machinery, composed primarily of stainless steel fabrication, to ensure longevity for the next 50 years.

With each reactor basin constantly cycling through sequences of operation (aerated fill, settle and decant), this modern upgrade allows for continuous inflow of sewage while providing a steady supply of clean effluent to Jacobs Creek.

Wyke further stated, “the discharge from this plant is cleaner than the water in Jacobs Creek and we are very pleased with the quality of effluent.”

Programmable logic control (PLC) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) allow for automated control and remote management, while the SBR technology design provides a smaller footprint conserving real estate. Along with the new tank layout, WFMSA constructed an additional 30-inch interceptor and upgraded its remote pumping station.

John Tomaro stated that a Wagner Fluid Systems SBR is strongly being considered as the basis of design for the new Connellsville facility, along with ancillary equipment, such as belt press, mechanical screen, blowers, controls and SCADA system. He said this is a great opportunity for a local Pennsylvania manufacturer, as all engineering, materials and fabrication will be from Western Pa.

Funding for the Westmoreland-Fayette plant upgrade was provided by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. RUS administers programs that provide much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. They play a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents.

For more information on the SBR and how it works, click here for more details.

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