Eight years after upgrades began, Spartanburg Water’s 25 mgd Fairforest Wastewater Treatment Facility featured state-of-the-art screening, biosolids storage and handling, odor control, and instrumentation. Everything about the facility was advanced.

Everything, that is, except for the receiving system.

On average, the facility receives 40 loads of grease and 180 loads of septage per month. Haulers discharged directly to the plant’s headworks through of a hole in the ground, a cumbersome arrangement that caused traffic jams. The lack of pre-treatment put downstream treatment components at risk.

An equally cumbersome record keeping system produced a large margin of error in influent records. The utility provides rebates to residences inside the service area where public sewer service isn’t available — a great service that placed additional strain on employees.

To protect almost $80 million in improvements, managers retained Cavanaugh & Associates, P.A., of Winston-Salem, N.C., to investigate options for a perfect receiving station. Today, the award-winning design:

Separates grease and septage. Operators control when, where, and at what rate materials are introduced into the treatment plant. They can eliminate grease from the process train entirely by sending it to the digester or landfilling.

Pre-treats before integration into the plant process train.

Automates metering, control, and record keeping, lessening staff time and the potential for human error.

Allows for multiple integration locations of grease and septage.

Provides multiple discharge points to alleviate traffic jams. Using an existing side entrance to the plant and vacant real estate within the fenced area of the facility, the design creates a separate ingress and egress into the plant and enough space so haulers can drive in, circle the septage and grease storage tank, and select from one of three discharge bays. Existing pavement was used where possible; where necessary, heavy-duty paving was installed except in the bays themselves, where concrete pads were poured.

Separates the receiving station from the plant entrance, further easing congestion and minimizing driver confusion.