There are three (3) distinct sections of waste water collection and treatment. All three sections are required to be permitted by the State of North Carolina and the United States EPA. Each section is required to do daily and monthly monitoring and testing as well as yearly reports and inspections as required by the State of North Carolina.
The first and most important permit is the NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit. This is the Town of Maggie Valley’s primary permit for operation of our Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). The operation of the WWTP requires daily sampling and testing for TSS (Total Suspended Solids), BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand), Fecal Coliform, Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites, Phosphorus, Total Nitrogen, Chronic Toxicity, Flow, P.H., Temperature, Chlorine, Total Residual Chlorine, Dissolved Oxygen and Settable Solids. The majority of this testing is permit required and other testing is for daily adjustments in operations that include: setting wasting rates; increasing or decreasing oxygen levels in the aeration basin; increasing or decreasing of P.H.; amount of flow through each aeration basin; feed rates for Chlorine and Sulfur Dioxide. Along with daily testing, monitoring and daily adjustment, is the maintenance and cleaning required to conform to our NPDES permit. The maintenance, cleaning and adjustments includes work on skimmers, effluent gates, cylinders, pneumatic valves, settling tubes, clarifiers, diffusers, programmable controllers, electric relays, fuses, air compressors, chemical feed systems, flow valves, pumps, bar screens, timers and many other maintenance and cleaning issues that arise. To continue meeting the limits and requirements of the NPDES permit, the staff at the WWTP has to monitor and adjust all of the above items daily.
Another permit at the WWTP is the Residual Handling W.Q. (water quality) permit.This permit covers the operation, testing requirements and general handling of our WWTP sludge and non-biological solids. The Town of Maggie Valley uses the Lime Stabilization Process for sludge and land-applies this product on agricultural ground. We produced 300 tons of stabilized sludge in 2005, and 72 tons of non-biological solids, which are dewatered in the bar-screen and then land-filled. Lime Stabilization is a lengthy process that includes: dewatering sludge, mixing with lime, piling, testing, windrowing, turning, drying and disposal.
The third permit within the Enterprise Fund is our Collection System permit. This permit covers the operation and maintenance of the Maggie Valley Wastewater Collection System. Today, the Town of Maggie Valley Collection System includes 46 miles of 12 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch sewer pipe, 1170 manholes and one pump station. The operation and maintenance of a collection system is labor intensive and time consuming. The State of North Carolina requires that we clean and inspect 10% of our collection system yearly, which amounts to 4 miles or 21,120 linear feet. Permit requirements include walking and visually inspecting the entire 46 miles of Collection System at least one time a year, keeping all sewer line right-of-ways open and accessible. We have to mow and remove brush and debris from all cross county sewer line right-of-ways at least two times per year. We must visit each pump station weekly and perform maintenance on the pumps, alarms and wet-well. We must keep detailed logs of all operation and maintenance and all customer complaint calls.
Another time consuming part of the Collection System is sewer inspection. We monitor, inspect and test all new sewer installations. This assures that all new sewer lines being installed today are installed correctly to Town and State requirements and should be trouble free for years.