Streamline - Spring 2016 - (Page 17)
Triumph Over Adversity
BY DONNA LAWSON, WASTEWATER OPERATION SPECIALIST
gently rolling hills of Tazewell County, Claypool Hill is a small community which boasts about 2,000 residents.
The Claypool Hill Wastewater Treatment plant is owned and operated by the Tazewell County Public Service Authority and is situated
just off US-19N. The wastewater facility has just completed a major transformation that was both needed and hard won.
NESTLED IN THE
The original treatment plant was a contact stabilization built during the early
1980's and was well past its prime after
32 years of operation. A Dewberry and
Davis design, the 0.35 MGD Class III
facility had dual treatment sides consisting of chambers for aeration, clarification and digestion. Chlorine gas was used
for disinfection and sulfur dioxide was
employed for dechlorination. Covered drying beds were for waste sludge and a small
concrete building measuring roughly 8' x
12' served as the office/lab and bathroom.
The aging infrastructure and increasing
population cumulated in the summer of
2013, finding the facility in consent order
by VA DEQ for violating on overflows,
ammonia and TSS.
The PSA responded by beginning the
process of a preparing for a much-needed
upgrade and hiring a new chief operator,
Michael Ward. With a quick smile and a
can-do attitude, Mike brought new energy
into the increasingly difficult situation of
a failing plant. He worked with VRWA to
provide technical training for the operators
per DEQ's consent order requirements and
coordinated between the selected design
engineering firm, Thompson and Litton
and the PSA. However, in the fall of 2013,
unimaginable tragedy struck.
On October 10, during a routine morning checking pump stations on the way to
the plant, Mike was hit by a driver of an
F450 Ford truck who had fallen asleep at
the wheel. Even though he miraculously
survived the impact, his injuries were
traumatic. Mike suffered a broken neck,
back and ribs. He also had a punctured
Sludge handling building, digester and cascade aerator.
Oxidation ditch with head works in background.
lung, crushed ankles and a severe head
injury that resulted having a portion of
his brain having to be removed during
emergency surgery. Mike was in the hospital six months and spent three months in
physical therapy after that. In all, he was
off one year and one day before returning
to work in October 2014.
Construction of the new facility started
in May, but once back, Mike lost no time
in getting involved in the ongoing plant
upgrade. Almost to the day within a year
after his return, Mike achieved his Class
II license the new plant required. He jokes
that it's a great achievement from a man
with half a brain. Mike is extremely proud
of the treatment results of the new oxidation ditch during the first two months of
operation. The contract called for all of
the existing mixed liquor and digested
sludge to be put into the new plant which is
producing non detect for E.coli and ammonia and 2-3 mg/L for TSS and CBOD,
The new plant is twice the capacity of
the original and was designed for 0.70
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2016
From the President: Strong
From the Executive Director: Do You Need VRWA?
Thanks for the Memories!
Future Operators: Implementing A Career
Claypool Hill: Triumph Over Adversity
Work Zone Safety Awareness: V-DOT Work Zone Traffic Control Certification
Water System Consolidation
Decline of Coal: Economic Effects on Utilities
Effectively Managing Inventory Space and Costs
VRWA Report Card
Planning Reports Funded for Three Rural Water and Waste Projects in Central Virginia
VRWA Members Corner
Throwing My Loop: A Positive Life...
Benefits for VRWA Members
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Spring 2016