Phase 3 Green SRF Wastewater Project built on the success of two earlier projects located in the Left Fork Watershed of the Mud River, a low income, rural area in Lincoln County, W.V.
The original project was a cooperative agreement between the Lincoln County Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It ran from 2005 to 2010. The project was one of several national decentralized wastewater demonstration projects. Forty homes received new, alternative wastewater systems, replacing old, failing systems.
One of the project's primary goals was, and continues to be, protecting public health and improving water quality.
The second phase ran from 2010 to 2012. It was part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and was funded through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Another 21 homes in the same watershed received new wastewater treatment systems replacing old, failing systems.
Phase 3 continued in the Left Fork Watershed and continued collaboration with the West Virginia DEP. Phase 3 funded another 25 home installations during 2011 and 2012. All systems have Anua's Puraflo peat fiber biofilter as secondary treatment followed by Salcor UV final disinfection before discharging into tributaries.
From the start of the first phase, the project sampled tributaries of the watershed. Over time, the sampling focused on ten points. One of the sampling points serves as the control, above which there are no homes and no farming.
Points are sampled monthly during times when there is adequate flow in the tributaries and when there have not been heavy rain. The project has a certified lab to analyze E. coli colonies.
From the beginning of sampling in 2005 through 2012, there has been a continued reduction of E. coli in tributaries. This reduction is directly related to installation of new, more effective wastewater systems.
For example, after Dog Bone Creek empties into the Left Fork, Phase 3 installed systems for a small cluster of three homes. Prior to installation, E. coli ratings were >200,000, 40,000, 7,500 and 50,000. After installation, the readings were 450, 250 and 360. Clearly the new systems are positively impacting tributary health.
Do you know what is being directly discharged into the creeks, streams and tributaries of your water sources?
Tom Smith is the former director of operations and marketing at Anua. Tom is driving demand for wastewater treatment, water reuse, rainwater harvesting and odor/VOC control solutions. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business.