The Meat of the Matter

April 3, 2018
Martinsville, Va., meat products manufacturer installs SRPE wastewater treatment system

Monogram Food Solutions is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of quality food products. Monogram’s meat products—all made in the U.S.—include King Cotton, Circle B, Jeff Foxworthy Jerky, Bass Pro Shop’s Uncle Buck’s licensed products, Trail’s Best Meat Snacks, Pete’s Pride Meats and the Intimidator/NASCAR Jerky and Steak Strips.

In September 2009, Monogram purchased an industrial facility in Martinsville, Va. The existing facility discharged its wastewater to the public sewer system—owned and operated by the Henry County Public Service Authority (HCPSA)—with wastewater treatment provided by the City of Martinsville.

In May 2010, the HCPSA issued an Industrial User Pretreatment (IUP) discharge permit with compliance requirements to Monogram Snacks Martinsville (MSM). The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) enforced the utility’s state-mandated industrial wastewater discharge permitting program. The permit put restrictions on the facility’s maximum composite average biological oxygen demand (BOD5), pH, temperature and total suspended solids (TSS).

The industrial wastewater produced by MSM had a very high BOD value. The average concentration equaled approximately 2,000 mg/L, far exceeding compliance standards. In order to ensure compliance with the IUP and avoid surcharge fees, MSM chose to implement an onsite wastewater pretreatment program. The company reviewed a series of wastewater treatment options that utilized conventional treatment technologies.

“We wanted an expandable solution—one that would allow us the ability to grow but be able to grow with us,” said Rodney Thacker, quality assurance manager with MSM. “We wanted a solution with as little aboveground equipment as possible, and one that had a long service life. It was also important to have a tried-and-true treatment method that required as little chemical and physical interventions as possible.”

MSM researched options that had high initial capital costs, in which the equipment requirements increased ancillary infrastructure requirements and the need to readily expand the treatment system in the future was considered prohibitive. They consulted ACS Design LLC and chose the steel reinforced polyethylene (SRPE) Magellan wastewater treatment system from Contech Engineered Solutions because it was a technology that could be readily implemented without the need for substantial infrastructure changes and expansions. It also offered sustainable treatment capability for a smaller initial capital cost, and the SRPE material technologies were recognized as superior to concrete and steel, as they are highly resistant to the corrosive environment related to wastewater pH and other challenges associated with wastewater discharge from the facility.

“The Magellan system from Contech met all of our needs,” said Thacker. “The treatment units and the internal components made from SRPE have a long service life. Nothing else could come close to the longevity of the wastewater treatment system we chose, and that was important to us.”

The system was also fully buried, utilizing areas that were previously considered unusable or prohibited due to local zoning ordinances. By implementing this buried installation, MSM was able to plan for future treatment system expansion while also preserving land resources for future expansion.

The treatment system consists of a primary clarifier, moving bed biological reactor treatment system and secondary clarifier utilizing a return activated sludge pumping system. The equipment also includes special primary filters that are easily inspected and serviced, while the secondary clarifier is also equipped with a special draining system that facilitates easy cleaning and maintenance.

The Magellan system is capable of treating 50,000 gpd of high-strength wastewater with maximum influent concentrations of 2,000 mg/L BOD5 and 750 mg/L TSS to effluent concentrations of 500 mg/L BOD5 and 500 mg/L TSS. The system is comprised of two 96-in.-diameter vessels, one 28 ft in length and the other 40 ft in length. The Magellan system was completely installed by Falwell Resource Group LLC and was operational within five days.

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