Orenco in the News
"The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that almost $289 billion in capital improvements for wastewater will be required over the next 20 years—and three-quarters of that amount is needed for “big pipe” problems. WWD Managing Editor Elisabeth Lisican recently spoke with Grant Denn, senior manager of engineering projects for Orenco Systems Inc., about these problems and some viable solutions ...
" ... Lisican: What are some benefits of decentralized wastewater treatment systems as a solution to these [big-pipe] problems?
"Denn: The main benefits are the low lifecycle costs and environmental stewardship. Decentralized systems are ideal for a smaller customer base, and they are environmentally friendly due to the elimination of inflow and infiltration, low power consumption, and low O&M costs. The whole system is watertight, and primary treatment (of solids) occurs on lot at the point of generation; so treating and reusing the remaining water is simplified and energy- and water-efficient."
" ... How to deal with wastewater at The Summit, which has been designed as a flagship sustainability project for the BSA (Boy Scouts of America), presented a challenge. The solution: graywater would be processed on site in a manner that would not only have the lowest impact, but offer the highest yield in beneficial use by treating water from each building’s showers and sinks for use in toilet flushing.
"Orenco Systems was selected to provide AdvanTex AX-RT advanced wastewater treatment. Clear, odorless, reusable effluent is produced through a pre-packaged 'plug and play' AX20 wastewater treatment system. UV disinfection also is available for the system."
"As demand for sites at a mobile home park in Cedar Point, N.C., developed, the owners added more spaces with sewer connections. The increasing volume eventually overwhelmed the low-pressure pipe drainfield in the center of 96 lots.
"Pumping the 5,000-gallon septic tank every other day prevented ponding and odors. During the system’s permit renewal, the Carteret County Health Department inspector identified the situation and issued a consent decree.
"President Greg Mayfield of Southern Water and Soil in Zephyrhills, Fla., worked with Orenco Systems’ distributor Steve Barry of AQWA in Wilson, N.C., to design a replacement system. They chose AdvanTex technology partially due to space restrictions, but primarily to reduce nutrient loading to protect sensitive aquatic life in the adjacent Intercoastal Waterway."
"The City of Lacey, Wash., has operated a gravity sewer for decades with an understanding that customer satisfaction and low life-cycle costs are the result of a well-balanced operations and maintenance (O&M) program. Too little maintenance leads to premature equipment failure and dissatisfied customers. However, too much maintenance leads to high costs. An early adopter of septic tank effluent pumping (STEP) sewers, the city worked with its STEP equipment manufacturer to develop O&M protocols that provided a similar balance between maintenance and cost-effectiveness for STEP systems."
"No one knows it all. Not in life, and not in the complex world of wastewater treatment. Nearly every day I talk to industry practitioners — from front-line operators and engineers to PhD’s and CEOs — and I’m reminded that we’re all at different points on the learning curve. For those who aren’t well-versed in secondary (biological) wastewater treatment and the differences between traditional suspended-growth processes and attached-growth processes, this article is for you.
"An assist comes from Orenco Systems’ Grant Denn, Senior Manager – Engineering Projects, who provided a 'layman’s description' of how the technologies differ (from his perspective as a supplier of attached-growth solutions). For balance, as well as a bit more technicality, I also consulted research papers evaluating the two processes. It remains, however, a '101' — plainspoken and hopefully helpful."
"Many rural communities that use septic systems have outgrown that technology. Some are experiencing widespread failure of aging systems. Others are growing, but their soil conditions won’t accommodate additional septic systems. Larger communities want to grow, but their existing sewer systems can’t accommodate new connections. In all these cases, neither conventional septic systems, nor gravity sewer systems, are feasible.
Effluent sewers are a proven and sustainable solution for decentralized and rural wastewater collection across Canada, and in many other countries. Not only can effluent sewers serve rural areas, but they are also a cost-effective way to serve fringe development, just outside towns that do not want to expand their conventional sewer system."
"In the rolling hills of Sonoma County, north of San Francisco and in California’s wine country, Shear Builders Inc. put in a new wastewater system to handle effluent from a youth camp.
" ... Camp Newman ... abandoned a package plant and effluent spray field on its property and hired engineers Pete Lescure, of Lescure Engineers in Santa Rosa, Calif., to design a modern system that would meet the needs of the facility."
"New housing facilities are needed in the Bakken to support the workers and their families who are moving here from all over the country. Unless they are within city or town boundaries, a developer’s only options for wastewater servicing are limited to holding tanks or onsite treatment and disposal ... As a result, onsite treatment and disposal is the only viable option for most new developments outside the boundaries of regional infrastructure ...
" ... Onsite wastewater treatment starts with collection. The Lukenbill treatment system utilizes an Orenco Septic Tank Effluent Pumping System (STEP) designed by KLJ Engineering that includes septic tanks located on each lot for primary treatment and solids settling. Pumps and filters are incorporated within each tank and liquid wastewater is pumped to 4-inch mainlines in the road and eventually to the treatment site. Secondary treatment is provided via Orenco’s AX-MAX technology."
" ... In 2010, Castle Resources, a Toronto-based junior mineral development company, became interested in the Granduc Copper Mine and has since discovered substantial copper mineralization beneath the original workings. The company acquired the mine with the goal of restoring it to working order ...
" ... The tunnel work camp was in need of a portable and completely self-contained wastewater treatment system. Moreover, because of the camp's environmentally sensitive location and limited accessibility, there were a number of additional requirements: effluent discharge targets of 30/30 mg/L BOD5 and TSS, easy installation, easy maintenance, energy efficiency, and a turnkey operation.
"Castle Resources retained Eerik Lilles, P.Eng., owner of a British Columbia wastewater company, Wildernest Systems Inc., to propose a solution. Lilles, in turn, contacted Tristian Bounds, P.E., at Orenco Systems, an Oregon company specializing in the design and manufacture of energy-efficient wastewater treatment systems. Together, they determined that one of Orenco's AdvanTex Treatment Systems -- the AX-Mobile -- could meet all of Castle's requirements."
"Albertans might support the XL Pipeline as a means to move one resource out of the province, but at the same time, there’s a struggle to protect and sustain another resource—water—within provincial borders. Groundwater supplies are now a key consideration in the approval process for all new subdivisions in the province. In order to move forward, developers must prove that their projects will not deplete local groundwater aquifers or contaminate the local environment with untreated wastewater.
"One solution to both issues is to design and install large on-site community wastewater systems, which recycle the treated effluent and put it back in the local hydrologic cycle ... Because these systems are designed and presented as part of the initial development plan, this approach puts water use and the wastewater treatment process in the forefront of development planning and raises awareness about sustainable water management with regulators, developers, and future homeowners."
" ... Orenco is best known for wastewater products. However, one innovation led to another and Orenco will introduce its unique fiberglass table tennis tables later this year."
"Orenco supplied a tennis club in Roseburg, Oregon, with three custom FiberGraphicTM sports benches ... "
" ... STEP sewer systems are not new. They were first installed in the early 1970s, and the technology has been optimized during the past 4 decades. Consequently, many members of the engineering community now acknowledge that decentralized sewer systems typically are less expensive to purchase and install than conventional gravity sewer systems — but many still are unaware that decentralized sewers also are less expensive to operate and maintain.
"Engineering proposals often overestimate STEP sewer O&M costs by a factor of 2 or more while greatly underestimating O&M costs for gravity sewers. According to the 2004 report Replacing and Securing Water Utility Infrastructure by the National Regulatory Research Institute (Silver Spring, Md.), gravity sewer O&M costs can approach $328/m ($100/ft) or more. The bottom line is that many engineers and communities lack accurate life-cycle costs with which to make decisions."
"When director Peter Jackson went searching for Hobbiton for his Lord of the Rings trilogy, wastewater treatment was probably the farthest thing from his mind. He discovered Tolkien’s picturesque world in the rolling hills of a sheep farm in an isolated corner of New Zealand. When the movie set became a tourist attraction with a new pub, a recirculating textile filter was cast in the role of lead wastewater system.
"... An alternative wastewater system that could accommodate the increasing number of tourists expected to visit after the release of Jackson’s latest film was needed. A New Zealand distributor [of Orenco products] was contacted by Alistair Osmond, the project engineer, to provide a treatment system (installed in November of 2012) to fit the special needs of Hobbiton’s off-grid, sewer-less environment."
"A property owner in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, wanted to expand his existing three-bedroom waterfront rental property. The county health department's guidelines required adding a 50 percent reserve to the drainfield's capacity before renovation could be approved ... A wastewater system upgrade was designed using an Orenco AdvanTex AX-25RT treatment system. The system features a small footprint, large reserve capacity, and the ability to meet permit limits of BOD/TSS 10/10 mg/L."
"For architects and engineers who are redesigning facilities that are off-the-grid – by necessity or by choice, finding a wastewater treatment system (WWTS) that can meet power, geographic, financial, and performance requirements can be a real challenge. In four recent wastewater projects, Orenco Systems’ energy-efficient AdvanTex Treatment System met those conditions. Each wastewater treatment project is powered by wind or solar and produces clear effluent of such high quality that it can be recycled for beneficial uses."
" ... AdvanTex systems from Orenco use recirculating media filters to produce clear, odorless effluent with outstanding nutrient-reduction, suitable for subsurface irrigation or surface discharge after disinfection (where regulations permit). The award-winning AdvanTex product line includes the AX20, AX100 and now the AX-Max and AX-Mobile. AdvanTex AX20s are ideal for residential applications. The AdvanTex AX100 is engineered for communities, subdivisions, commercial flows and residential clusters. The AX-Max is ideal for larger commercial/municipal systems. Using less than 2 kWh per 1,000 gallons treated, it is LEED eligible, as is all the AdvanTex line. Orenco’s new AX-Mobile unit is designed specifically for installation in remote locations or in temporary situations, such as construction sites."
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Awards and Recognition
- SHARP Program Completion Award: Orenco recently completed OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), a five-year certification program for companies that are committed to ensuring a safe workplace for their employees.
- 2012 Top Product, Rural Builder, AdvanTex Treatment Systems
- Best Performing Technology, Maryland Department of the Environment, AdvanTex Treatment Systems
- First Approved Nitrogen-Reducing
On-lot System, Verified by NSF, Pennsylvania Technology Verification Program, AdvanTex Treatment Systems
- ACEC Diamond Award East Salem, Pennsylvania, AdvanTex Treatment System
- World's Best Environmental Development, EcoVillage at Currumbin, Australia, Effluent Sewer and AdvanTex Treatment System
- Qualified, Green Building Council's LEED Silver Rating, Esther's Island Retreat, Nantucket, Massachusetts, AdvanTex Treatment Systems
- First Effluent Sewer System in Ireland, Kiltillane, Templemore, Co. Tipperary, Orenco Effluent Sewer and AdvanTex Treatment System
- First Effluent Sewer System in Alberta, Habitat Acres, AB, Canada, Orenco Effluent Sewer and AdvanTex Treatment System
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Detroit, Illinois, AdvanTex Treatment System
- Selected for NDWRCDP Case Studies, Decentralized Wastewater Systems, Mobile, Alabama, Including Orenco Effluent Sewers and AdvanTex Treatment Systems
- GBC's First LEED Platinum-Rated Building, Audubon Education Center, Los Angeles, California, AdvanTex Treatment System
- AIA's "Top 10 Green Buildings 2002,"Island wood Environmental Learning Center, Bainbridge Island, Washington, AdvanTex Treatment System
- Nova Scotia's Municipal InNOVA Award, Little Dover, Nova Scotia, Orenco Effluent Sewer System
- Vermont Engineering's Grand Award, Warren Elementary School, Warren, Vermont, AdvanTex Treatment System
- Statewide Demonstration Project, Alternative Wastewater Systems in Illinois, New Minden, Illinois, Orenco Effluent Sewer System