Room for Growth

April 3, 2018
Virginia shopping center installs scalable wastewater treatment system

The Locust Grove Town Center is a 16,000-sq-ft shopping retail center on a 25-acre project site located approximately 25 miles west of Fredericksburg in the bedroom community of Locust Grove, Va. Built in 2007, the retail center has seen success and continued expansion. It hosts more than 20 businesses, including a gas station, a dry cleaner, a laundromat, multiple restaurants, a market and numerous other small businesses. As a result, this commercial site had a high-strength waste output, and the water directly discharged above grade into a tributary of Flat Run pond, connected to the main lake as part of the Lake of the Woods residential subdivision two miles northeast of the retail center.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) required the Locust Grove Town Center to upgrade its 4,500-gpd wastewater treatment tank to comply with water quality regulations.

The retail center owner considered multiple systems, including the Magellan wastewater treatment system from Contech, which uses steel-reinforced polyethylene (SRPE) technology to create a simple, cost-effective system that is easy to install. Traditional fiberglass, steel and concrete systems were not only very expensive, but also open at the top, allowing aesthetic, safety and odor issues. In addition, other alternatives would have taken up to four weeks to completely install. With a consent order from the DEQ, the retail center owner wanted to move quickly to comply.

Contech was chosen to design the Magellan wastewater treatment system design and the overall site plan for the project. To accomplish this, Contech partnered with AppTech Solutions, a Virginia-based engineering firm that specializes in SRPE products for sustainable water quality systems.

Contech and AppTech collaborated closely with the retail center owner to identify his requirements and wishes. As a result, two systems were designed, and each would meet the strict discharged-water quality requirements of the DEQ. Since the effluent of this system should not contaminate the soil or water table despite its surface discharge into a tributary and absorption into the top few inches of the heavy clay soil, strict treatment was required. Contech and AppTech designed two alternative systems—one to treat 4,500 gpd and another to treat 10,000 gpd—and reviewed the benefits with the Locust Grove Town Center owner and operator.

Each proposed system was a single-tank buried design and included a flow equalization chamber, an anoxic bioreactor and the mixed-bed bioreactor (MBBR) fixed-film media aerobic treatment zone and secondary clarifier chamber. This equipment approach was designed to minimize energy and manpower operation requirements. The air lift pumps are easily regulated and maintained, with no internal moving parts, and are powered by excess air from the primary aeration system.

The owner selected the 10,000-gpd system. One of the advantages of Contech’s Magellan wastewater treatment system is that future expansion is both cost-effective and easy to accomplish. Since the owner of Locust Grove Town Center continues to expand his successful retail center, Magellan’s scalability is a great benefit.

Contech submitted the plans to the DEQ and then received a certificate to construct. The 8-ft-diameter, 37-ft-long Magellan system was fabricated in just six weeks and shipped in one truckload to the jobsite.

Falwell Resource Group, a design-build firm established to provide turnkey solutions for Magellan and wastewater treatment projects by providing engineering support, served as the onsite consultant to oversee the installation and commissioning services and get the retail center’s new Magellan wastewater treatment system in the ground and operational.

Local contractor Titan Construction performed the system installation. The day prior, it had excavated the site to prepare for the install. The entire system was in the ground and backfilled in just four hours.

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