When the town of Appomattox began inspecting its sewer collection and treatment system, which provides service to approximately 695 residential and 70 commercial connections, it found problems that were contributing to raw sewage overflows, incompliance with state code and reduced ability to serve residents. Also, video revealed significant cracks and deterioration in the sewer pipes.
The existing trickling filter wastewater treatment plant was approximately 75 years old and had reached the end of its useful life. It also lacked back-up power and real-time monitoring and control capability. In addition, the plant had no flow equalization ahead of the treatment process, which causes major flow issues and backups on wet weather days due to extensive inflow during storm events.
In 2015 USDA Rural Development worked with the town to fund a loan for $3.7 million and a grant for $1.8 million. The financial assistance allowed Appomattox to begin making the repairs it needed.
“The town needed this because the 70-plus-year-old facility needed to be replaced, but being a rural community our sewer rates are already pretty high,” said Bill Gillespie, Appomattox Town Manager. “With Rural Development’s help we were able to keep our rates reasonable and can replace the treatment plant.”
The full project includes the replacement and/or repair of collection pipe and the rehabilitation of manholes. The trickling filter plant will be abandoned, and wastewater from the drainage basin will be pumped to the town’s water reclamation facility. A new wet well with screening and a new raw wastewater pump station with influent pumps will be constructed. A new equalization basin with blowers and a sludge press will be installed along with a supervisory control and data acquisition system. Construction will begin in 2016.
This project will correct the health hazard, bring the system into compliance with Virginia code and enable the Town to continue providing sanitary sewer to its residents.
“We have a lot of gratitude for the effort Rural Development made in order to get us to completion of this project,” Gillespie said.