With the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands and kept comfortable year-round by gentle Pacific sea breezes, the coastal region called Punta de Mita near Puerto Vallarta has emerged as a playground for some of the world’s most elite celebrities.
This 4-mile wide private peninsula is also home to high-end luxury resort hotels and 16 privately developed sub-communities, with investors and guests ranging from Silicon Valley executives to the upper echelons of the Hollywood elites. As such, the region’s beautiful developments and resort facilities cater to the whims of their high-end clientele, and for one prominent 110-acre development, their investors thought FAST® on how to handle the wastewater that would be generated by their esteemed guests and residents.
Planning for the complete buildout of the onsite wastewater treatment system as the development would grow over time, including luxury estates, beach villas, a 5-star hotel, and world-class spa, the developers charted a three-phase plan. Phase one, and each subsequent phase of the plan, centered on handling a little more than 26,000 GPD of wastewater in discrete locations throughout the larger property. With impeccably designed grounds and amenities, it was critical to keep the wastewater treatment system out of site and out of mind. Additionally, as with any other resort destination, the ability for the treatment system to handle seasonal or variable flow conditions was equally as important. Taking all these factors into consideration, the unique, below-grade Modular FAST® aerobic process by Smith & Loveless was selected and designed
Following a two-stage septic tank, which separates greases and non-organic solids from the incoming stream, the wastewater enters the Modular FAST® System for high-rate BOD removal. Residing below the surface in a 16 ft. (4.88 m) long by 8 ft. (2.44 m) wide by 16.5 ft. (5m) deep basin, the fixed-biofilm Modular FAST® system provides a high surface area to volume ratio with its completely submerged media. Bacteria, which biodegrade the waste constituents in the wastewater stream, attach and grow on the FAST® media, preventing solids washout. The stable environment provided by the FAST® media to which the bacterial film affixes, generates a longer sludge age than conventional biological treatment systems while eliminating the need for managing any return activated sludge. As excess biofilm grows, it sloughs off the media into the lower anaerobic zone underneath for further digestion. This self-regulating process significantly reduces the need for operator time and attention, even with varying flows, lowering operational costs. The Modular FAST® system contains no filters to clean or replace, and has only one moving part, the remote air blower. The air blower supplies air which provides oxygen for the bacteria to grow and multiply.
Following its installation and start-up, the Modular FAST® wastewater system continues to capably treat the development’s wastewater, easily meeting environmental requirements, especially with BOD less 10 mg/l. Operators of the system appreciate the low amount of time required to operate and maintain the system. And most importantly, the development’s clients are free to enjoy the absolute beauty of the tropical grounds and resort amenities while the engineered water infrastructure operates – quietly and efficiently underground – without any need to achieve the fame associated with its users. Two different ways to live life in the FAST® lane.
Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.