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MAIN OFFICE HOURS

Monday - Friday:
7:30 am - 4:30 pm

1010 Sparkman St NW
Hartselle, Alabama 35640

(256) 773-3340


Wastewater Treatment Plant

Monday – Friday
7:00 am – 3:30 pm
Saturday -  Sunday
7:00 am – 9:00 am
3392 Blueridge Road SW
Hartselle, Alabama 35640
*Open every Holiday
(256) 773-5712


Sanitary Sewer System Superintendent
Robert Wright
Email


Water, Sewer & Gas Superintendent for Construction
Lynn Wood
Email


Wastewater Treatment Plant Chief Operator
Glenn Byrum
Email


Customer Service Manager
Terri Harris
Email


Engineering Services Manager
Glen Partlow
Email



Wastewater Department

What is wastewater treatment?

It’s a process of cleaning used water and sewage so it can be returned safely to our environment.  Before entering Shoal Creek, part of Flint River watershed, wastewater is processed at the Hartselle Utilities Wastewater Treatment Plant to meet federal and state standards.  Our Wastewater Treatment Plant is designed to treat 2.7 million gallons of water a day from homes, businesses and industries from the City of Hartselle.

 

Hartselle Utilities welcomes student groups interested in learning more about wastewater treatment.  Hartselle Utilities’ Wastewater Treatment Plant is located at 3392 Blueridge Road SW in Hartselle, Alabama.  For information on scheduling a tour of our facilities, contact the Sewer System Superintendent Robert Wright at (256) 773-5712 or email at rwright@hartselleutilities.org.

 
How do treatment plants protect our water?

 

 Wastewater treatment plants:

·          Remove solids, everything from rags and plastics to sand and smaller particles found in wastewater;

·          Reduce organic matter and pollutants–naturally occurring helpful bacteria and other microorganisms consume organic matter in wastewater and are then separated from the water; and,

·          Restore oxygen–the treatment process ensures that the water put back into our rivers or lakes has enough oxygen to support life.

 

Where does wastewater come from?

·          Homes–human and household wastes from toilets, sinks, baths, dishwashers, garbage grinders, clothes washers and drains.

·          Industry, Schools, and Business–chemical and other wastes from factories, food-service operations, school activities, hospitals, shopping centers, etc.

·          Storm Water Infiltration and Inflow from Runoff and Groundwater–water that enters the sanitary sewer system during a storm, as well as groundwater that enters through cracks in sewers. 

 

Everyone can play a part in keeping our water resources safe from hazardous materials by properly disposing or recycling materials that should not be placed in the sanitary sewer system.  Please click here to view a chart provided by the Water Environment Federation, which will show you effective ways to dispose of typical household products and so that you may contribute to a sustainable, clean environment.
 
 
Are you having problems with your septic system?  If Hartselle Utilities sewer is available, we offer a financing program for systems development charges. For more information, see our page on Sewer Connection Financing.

  


 

Wastewater Department Work in Progress

Sewer System Rehabilitation

Where: East and Southern Areas
Prevention of sewer overflows, extended system life and treatment plant capacity

Rehabilitation of the East Oxidation Ditch

Location: Wastewater Treatment Plant
To increase the efficiency of the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Bethel Road Construction Update

In early fall, HU crews completed Phase 2 of planned sewer repairs in the Bethel Road area in preparation for the new high school, says HU Engineering Services Manager Glen Partlow. Next, utility crews will relocate water, gas and electric service so that Bethel Road can be widened.
Work to relocate water mains began in December, and is expected to last about 11 weeks, Partlow says. One road closure was expected, and was planned during the winter break to minimize impact on school traffic at F.E. Burleson Elementary School.
Moving the natural gas mains, which will begin in January, will be done by directional boring, where possible, to minimize digging, Partlow reports. “We might go as much as 500 feet with pipe, without disturbing the ground.”
All of HU’s relocations are scheduled to be completed before April, when the City will open the widening and repaving portion of the project up for bids.

Barkley Bridge Sewer and Pumping Station

Where: Garner Road
Provide sewer service to areas south of Nanceford Road and west of Garner Road


Wastewater Department News

Bethel Road Construction Update

In early fall, HU crews completed Phase 2 of planned sewer repairs in the Bethel Road area in preparation for the new high school, says HU Engineering Services Manager Glen Partlow. Next, utility crews will relocate water, gas and electric service so that Bethel Road can be widened.
Work to relocate water mains began in December, and is expected to last about 11 weeks, Partlow says. One road closure was expected, and was planned during the winter break to minimize impact on school traffic at F.E. Burleson Elementary School.
Moving the natural gas mains, which will begin in January, will be done by directional boring, where possible, to minimize digging, Partlow reports. “We might go as much as 500 feet with pipe, without disturbing the ground.”
All of HU’s relocations are scheduled to be completed before April, when the City will open the widening and repaving portion of the project up for bids.

Please Watch What You Flush: Toilets Are Not Trash Cans

Flushable wet wipes: what a great idea, right? Wrong, says Hartselle Utilities Engineering Services Manager Glen Partlow. There are many products on the market now that are advertised as “flushable,” which means the product will go through the pipes of your toilet into the wastewater system. Flushable, however, does not mean dissolvable. And, in fact, most products other than toilet paper advertised as flushable do not dissolve in the waste water stream.
Unlike toilet paper, so-called flushable wipes, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products contain plastic and other nonsolubles that render them “nondispersible,” the wastewater industry’s term for material that doesn’t dissolve quickly in water. Instead, these products settle in gravity sewer mains, lift pump stations or get tangled in pump mechanisms. They can also accumulate in your home sewer lines and cause a blockage, resulting in sewage backing up into your home – and an expensive repair bill.
“Several times recently our lift stations have needed maintenance, due to baby wipe-type material clogging the system,” Partlow explains. “And generally, these blockages occur after hours, requiring overtime work for crews.”
When pump stations are clogged, they stop working and require cleaning and repair or even replacement in order to get the sewage moving again.
Fortunately, Partlow says, in areas where they’ve been able to identify the area of the source, letters have been sent to customers, and the problems have minimized. “We really appreciate that cooperation,” he explains.
So, please remember: your toilet is not a trash can. Avoid a nasty cleanup in your home and help protect Hartselle’s sewer system by never flushing any consumer item that is not toilet paper into the sewer system, regardless of what the packaging promises. If it’s not toilet paper, and if you didn’t eat it or drink it first, it shouldn’t go in the toilet.

New Centrifuge for WWTP To Be Operational in October

Site preparation at the HU Wastewater Treatment Plant for the new centrifuge “is getting fast-paced,” according to Jerry Jones, HU Purchasing Agent and centrifuge project manager. “We’ve completed the drying beds, and have started building the infrastructure for the centrifuge building: it will have natural gas, water, electricity and fiber optics to connect it to our SCADA system,” he explains.

The centrifuge will treat sludge, the semi-solid byproduct of the wastewater treatment process. Dewatered sludge will then be placed in a drying bed until it is dry enough to be transported to a landfill. Since 1987, sludge from the plant has been held in a sludge pond, which is now at capacity.

The centrifuge and ancillary equipment will be tightly integrated with PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) -based technology, Jones explains. “As you speed up one process, the system automatically speeds up another. And not just the centrifuge; we’re talking about the in-line grinders, sludge pumps, polymer pump, conveying augers and tank mixers. We’ve built a lot of technology into this new system.”

So far, Jones says, the project is on time and on budget. The centrifuge is expected to be installed in early September, and will become operational by October.

Making Way for New Hartselle High School

HU crews are making point repairs to sewer mains under Bethel Road near the site of the new Hartselle High School. According to Glen Partlow, HU Engineering Services Manager, crews will repair cracks, inflow and infiltration problems and bad joints. The work will be completed in two stages, says Partlow. This summer, crews will repair 518 feet of main at 25 locations, and next fiscal year HU will make 815 feet of repairs.

The repairs are being made to regain capacity in that sewer pipe, says Partlow, in order to serve the new high school, which is anticipated to be finished in late 2012. Bethel Road will be repaved after school construction is completed; HU will finish the sewer repairs before repaving begins.

Lift Station Working at Morgan Center

HU’s final portion of sewer construction at the new Morgan Center Business Park, near the Thompson Road/I-65 interchange, is complete, says Glen Partlow, HU Engineering Services Manager. The last portion of the project was a 600 gallon-per-minute lift station.

HU has 21 lift stations throughout its system, in which waste from a gravity sewer flows in and the lift station pumps it up into another gravity sewer line. The system currently has two additional backup pumps in case of a power failure.

HU crews also installed 4,600 feet of 12” gravity sewer and 5,200 feet of 10” force main at the 135 acre park. The entire project cost a little less than $1 million. The Morgan County Economic Development Association is overseeing development of the Business Park. Infrastructure within the park should be complete by June.

Another long-term project was completed in December, Partlow reports. The new centrifuge at the HU Wastewater Treatment Plant is fully operational. HU is beginning to dispose of the dried sludge produced by the centrifuge in the landfill.

Thompson Road Sewer Line / Morgan Center Update

Work continues on new sewer lines and gravity main along Thompson Road to serve Phase 1 of the new Morgan Center Business Park, says Glen Partlow, HU Engineering Services Manager.

The project includes 4,600 feet of 12″ gravity sewer, 5,200 feet of 10″ force main and a 600 gallon-per-minute pump station at the 135 acre park.

Utility construction should be completed by the end of the year, and the remainder of the site preparation should be finished within nine months. Currently construction crews are realigning Byrd Road and creating a new entrance for the Business Center.

“Although the site has been shown to prospective industries, typically, reps are looking for ready sites,” explains HU General Manager Ferrell Vest. “Right now the site is similar to a prospective homeowner looking at a beautiful lot that doesn’t have electric, natural gas or water – most people want that infrastructure in place before they will start building,” he explains.

“In the near future, we’ll be able to show a ‘ready site’ to prospective industries,” Vest says.

Centrifuge at Wastewater Treatment Plant Now In Place

Sludge produced by the Wastewater Treatment Plant will no longer be deposited into the sludge pond at the plant, now that the plant’s new centrifuge is operational.

The centrifuge will dewater approximately 36,000 pounds of sludge per week. The solid material output by the centrifuge will then be placed in a drying bed until it is dry enough to be transported to a landfill.

In July 2010, Hartselle Utilities staff began working diligently to find a solution to the ever-growing sludge problem. Since 1987 sludge from the plant has been held in a sludge pond, which is now at capacity. The total budget for the project was $983,500.

“From start to finish this project has gone very well,” says Hartselle Utilities General Manager Ferrell Vest. “Our staff was able to do this in-house, without hiring a consultant, and finished the project on time and on budget.” He continued, “We took a mix of people from a cross-section of the company, and they worked together as one unit. Regardless of the challenges that arose, they were able to pull it off. I’m very pleased at the great team effort by everybody.”

Sludge Pond Vegetation Removed To Make Way For Dredging Equipment

Hartselle Wastewater Treatment Plant staff worked long hours in July of 2010 removing vegetation, including willlow trees and tomato plants, which had sprouted in the sludge pond at the plant, shown above left.

Waste sludge in the pond is seven feet deep and must be removed, says HU General Manager Ferrell Vest, to improve the holding capacity of the pond. HU has been approved for a grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for sludge dredging equipment to dewater the sludge and separate the solids, which can then be disposed at the Morgan County Landfill.

Before the sludge dredging equipment could be brought in, however, crews had to remove the vegetation which had almost completely covered the two-acre pond. The photo above right shows the progress crews had made after two and a half weeks.

 

WWTP Completed Second Year of 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan

Crews at HU’s wastewater treatment plant have replaced the west screw pump – which lifts 2,400 gallons of influent wastewater each minute and dumps it into oxidation ditches at the plant – along with several smaller repairs around the screw pump.  According to Robert Wright, HU Sanitary Sewer System Superintendent, when the project was completed in February 2011 this completed all budgeted improvement items for the fiscal year, and brought the wastewater treatment plant up-to-date with repairs and improvements included in the 2007 Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan.

In addition to replacing the 33-foot screw pump, one of three at the plant, contractors from Sue-Jac Construction replaced damaged and missing handrails around the screw pump, replaced the lower platform grading, repaired the sluice gate to the pump, and installed fall protection around the ladder leading up to the screw pump.

Sanitary Sewer System Upgrades Completed

In 2001, Hartselle Utilities began a detailed study for a daunting project: to rehabilitate or replace 42 miles of sewer lines running beneath the city.  At that time, parts of the sewer system were over 60 years old, and broken pipes, damaged manholes and faulty sewer connections allowed outside water to enter the system.  Infiltration, from groundwater, and inflow, from surface water (commonly referred to as I/I) took up capacity in the system and frequently caused wastewater to overflow out of the system.  These overflows created a health hazard and threatened the environment in Hartselle, and the HU board approved an aggressive upgrade program to correct the problems.

The project was divided into four phases. The first three phases addressed I/I problems; Phase 4 centered around HU’s 23-year-old wastewater treatment plant.  Work on the project began in 2002, with 13 basins requiring repairs.  During the next six years, HU replaced or repaired 1,968 manholes; 490,604 feet of gravity sewer lines; 53,182 feet of force main lines; and installed an I/I Diversion facility at the plant.
 On January 12, 2003, HU entered into a voluntary Consent Order with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to complete the sewer upgrades by 2008.  The projects were based on a schedule adopted by the HU Board in 2001.

“We are happy to report that Phases 1, 2 and 3 of our sanitary sewer system upgrades were completed by August 2006, well ahead of compliance with our Consent Order with ADEM,” says HU General Manager Ferrell Vest. “Phase 4 of the plan began in 2007, and work on the wastewater treatment plant continues.”
The overall I/I project cost just over $5 million. With assistance from Rep. Bud Cramer, HU received three EPA Special Needs Grants totaling $2.8 million to help finance the project. HU was required to provide matching funds for the grants, which it did through a combination of funds on hand and low interest loans from the ADEM State Revolving Fund (SRF).

“Had we not asked for the money from the federal government,” Vest says, “we would not have received the grants. We still would have had to correct the problems in the sewer system, but our customers would have had to directly foot the bill for the entire project. ”

In 2006, HU received the national PISCES award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the sewer system improvements. The PISCES, which stands for “Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success,” recognizes “systems that achieve significant environmental and economic benefits with an innovative and effective project,” according to ADEM, which nominated HU for the award.
“I commend Hartselle Utilities for winning this award and I am pleased that these improvements advance ADEM’s goals for water quality protection and safeguarding the environment,” said ADEM Director Trey Glenn.