The Wastewater Treatment Division is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the largest municipal facility in the State of Vermont and its 10 pumping stations. Wastes to be treated are collected from as far away as the peak of Killington and the airport in East Clarendon. Biosolids from six neighboring communities are brought in for processing that is beyond their capabilities making us a regional facility.
The facility tied for first place in 2001 for Environmental Protection Agency’s Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Facility in the Operations and Maintenance/Medium Advanced category. This award is a tertiary process employing physical, biological and chemical stages of treatment. The physical aspects involve gravity separating the heaviest of contaminants from the flow in grit chambers. These settled solids are removed and landfilled. The next step in the process involves the settling of organic and inorganic solids in primary clarifiers; these are pumped to the anaerobic digesters where bacteria break down the compounds as well as stabilize the sludge and reduce the pathogens. A by-product of this is methane gas that is employed in keeping the sludge mixed. It is also burned as fuel in the boilers to heat not only the sludge but assist in heating three of the buildings in the compound. We are mandated to remove as much phosphorous (a nutrient that promotes the growth of algae) from the system prior to discharge in the receiving waters. This is accomplished by the addition of the chemical sodium aluminate, which binds with the phosphorous enabling it to settle out and be removed from the process.
One of the basic concepts of wastewater treatment is balance. The plant, very much like the human body, can become ill if underfed, over fed or takes in things that are harmful. There are limits to how much the system can hold and the excess must be removed. Approximately 50,000 gallons of sludge are removed from the aerobic system daily and processed on a Gravility Belt Thickener. Polymers are introduced to the sludge aiding in bringing the solids together. The water is then squeezed from the sludge and the concentrated sludge sent to the anaerobic digesters for additional treatment.
Sludge from the secondary digester is pumped to the Belt Filter Press where polymers and hydraulic pressure force the water from the sludge. The sludge cake produced is hauled to the Waste USA in Coventry, Vermont and used as a soil amendment to cap the landfill. The final effluent (the water that is going to enter the Otter Creek) is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite and then neutralized by the addition of sodium bisulfite. The neutralization is to protect the fish population as the chlorine can destroy the protective slime layer.
Daily and weekly testing mandated by the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency are primarily done in-house. Analyses that require specialized equipment and resources beyond our capacity are sent to private labs.
Due to the diligence and commitment of the operators and staff, this facility has historically exceeded the design expectations for the removal of contaminants from the wastewaters received. It is considered to be one of the best operating facilities in Vermont.
Phone: (802) 773-1851
Bob Protivansky, Chief Operator
Mark Breznick, Lab Director
Tyler Harte, Lab Tech
Tyson Barlow, Asst. Chief Operator
2014 Engineering Study of Treatment Plant Capital Needs and Phosphorous Upgrade
This study was performed by Aldrich & Elliot and Stantec to determine the requirements and cost associated with potential increased requirements for phosphorous removal and general capital needs at the wastewater treatment plant.