Case Study of a Shared Septic System


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A presentation about shared septic systems. Presented by Robert Roseen of Geosyntec Consulting during the Buzzards Bay Coalition's 2014 Decision Makers Workshop series. Learn more at

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Case Study of a Shared Septic System

  1. 1. J&R Sales and Service, Inc. Over 20 years in Onsite Wastewater Solutions. Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Presented by: Lauren Usilton and Michael Moreau FAST® Wastewater Treatment Systems Wastewater Pretreatment Systems
  2. 2. About Us…  J&R established in 1990  Over 20 years experience in the wastewater treatment market  We began Piloting in Massachusetts with FAST and GEOFLOW in 1998 at the Alternative Septic System Test Center  First FAST single home installation in 1995; first GEOFLOW in 2000  Pioneers in the onsite market throughout New England  Over 3,000 systems installed – primarily in Massachusetts and Rhode Island  We maintain greater than 80% of these installations through our service division, Wastewater Treatment Services
  3. 3. Our Products…  BioMicrobics FAST  The first and only technology to earn the General Use Denitrification Approval through MA DEP  The only I/A technology to have all available MA DEP permits  Largest installation base of biological onsite treatment systems  Recently acquired SeptiTech – for a trickling filter treatment option  BioBarrier – membrane technology for the onsite market  GEOFLOW Subsurface Drip Dispersal  The first drip system to be approved in New England  Largest installation in New England at 48,000 gpd  Superior quality – made in the USA  Affordable, alternative option
  4. 4. FAST® Overview
  5. 5. Bio-Microbics Company Overview  Founded in 1996 by Robert J. Rebori  Over 47,000 installations in more than 60 countries  Manufacture products for wastewater and storm water industries  Staff of engineers, biologists and chemists  One of a very small number of treatment systems that have a history of being able to treat high strength waste.
  6. 6. FAST® FIXED ACTIVATED SLUDGE TREATMENT 30+ year old technology Used in marine, industrial and municipal treatment markets NSF Standard 40, Class 1
  7. 7. 1. Fixed Film (Attached Growth) 2. Activated Sludge (Suspended Growth) The FAST System Utilizes Two Distinctly Different Treatment Processes
  8. 8. How FAST® Works
  10. 10. Robust Aeration
  11. 11. 1. Fixed Film (Attached Growth) 2. Activated Sludge (Suspended Growth) The FAST System Utilizes Two Distinctly Different Treatment Processes RECYCLE LINE
  12. 12. Nitrogen Reduction  Every FAST system is designed and installed for Nitrogen reduction  Special built-in technology allows FAST wastewater treatment systems to consistently reduce nitrogen levels by ~70%.  Nitrogen reduction is a local issue in many locations and is a major concern in all New England States.  Septic Tank Effluent vs. Treated Effluent  Septic Tank effluent – typically 60 mg/L TN  Treated Effluent after FAST - typically less than 19 mg/L in residential
  13. 13. Residential use
  14. 14. Commercial use
  15. 15. High Strength Commercial
  16. 16. BioBarrier® Membrane BioReactors (MBR)
  17. 17. History of Membranes  Membranes have been used for 100’s of years  Manufactured membranes have been used in industrial applications such as canning, dating back to more than 100 years ago.  In the 1960’s manufactured membranes were first utilized for drinking water purification.  With improvements in production methods in the 80’s and 90’s membranes were used in a broader spectrum of applications including Wastewater Treatment  Today, membranes are one of the primary technologies selected for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment
  18. 18. Filter Operation Filtrate Direction of filtration Air diffuser Membranes Filtrate collector Filter cake Removed by fine air bubble
  19. 19. Why MBR?  The Highest, Consistent Effluent Quality  BOD < 5 mg/L  TSS < 2 mg/L  Turbidity < 0.5 NTU  Fecal coli form < 200 CFU/100 mL (without disinfection)  Significant nutrient removal capability  Complete virus removal  Reduction of pharmaceutical byproducts
  20. 20. Why MBR?  Simple to operate (compared to other processes trying to achieve same effluent quality)  Robust biological process  Energy efficient  Ability to treat difficult wastewater
  21. 21. Why MBR? Mixed Liquor Permeate MLSS 5,000 – 16,000 mg/l Flow BOD < 5 mg/l TSS < 1 mg/l Turbidity < 0.2 NTU
  22. 22. 2,000 gpd BioBarrier® System
  23. 23. Geoflow Drip Systems WASTEFLOW® with ROOTGUARD® for subsurface wastewater dispersal/reuse
  24. 24. Benefits of Drip Systems Primary Characteristics  Shallow depth for application of effluent. Uses most permeable soil - aerobic zone. 6-10” below grade.  Slow, uniform time dosing prevents saturation of soil and maximizes capillary action in soil.  Enhanced root growth improves percolation.  Maximizes evapo-transpiration. Practical Application of Benefits  Eliminates or reduces “mounds”  Cuts costs  Easy to install and maintain  Modified specifically for cold climates  Aesthetically pleasing  Conserve natural land contours and vegetation
  25. 25. WASTEFLOW Drip Systems System Components
  26. 26. Nano-ROOTGUARD ®  Prevents root intrusion for a minimum of 30 years  Emitters impregnated with Treflan® (patented process)  15 year warranty  Proven environmentally safe GEOFLOW Dripline: Unique Characteristics
  27. 27. Treflan® as a Root Barrier Photograph by courtesy of Fresno State University U = Untreated T = Treated with Treflan
  28. 28. GEOFLOW Dripline: Unique Characteristics  Bactericide lining  Extruded into inner lining of dripline and emitters.  Inhibits bacterial growth on inner wall and emitters  Eliminates scouring velocity requirements  Specifically designed for use with wastewater  Proven environmentally safe Geoshield™
  29. 29. WASTEFLOW Drip Systems Installation
  30. 30. Installation Methods  Remove/Replace  Vibratory Plow  Hand Trenching  Trenching machine  Other…
  31. 31. GEOFLOW is installed using existing contours… Shallow depth reduces or eliminates the need for a mound During… After… During… After… Landscaping over GEOFLOW field… Air Vents
  32. 32. Vibratory Plow Installations Tubing is pulled into existing soils for minimal site disturbance…
  33. 33. Remove/Replace Installations Field is raised to allow for 2’ minimum separation requirements…
  34. 34. Shared Systems using Onsite Treatment  Over 100 residential shared systems in Massachusetts  Utilizing onsite treatment allows for maximum use of the site  Allows for building on lots designated as Nitrogen sensitive  Greater loading rates allowed = more bedrooms/homes to build  Flexibility of installation = maximization of site’s available area  One central treatment plant, disperse back to individual lots, or to a central leach field  FAST is a GreenSpec® listed product
  35. 35. Experienced in New England MA DEP Permits FAST  Remedial  General  General Denitrification  Provisional  Piloting GEOFLOW  General  Remedial  GEOFLOW is recommended to be installed following an I/A approved treatment system  Effluent quality must be 30/30 mg/L BOD/TSS
  36. 36. GEOFLOW Drip Offers Flexibility… Drip has been used in various applications from single homes to 1 mgd Soil “Quality” will determine amount of land required for the drip field The Drip Zones can be located wherever the GOOD soils are Zones can be a few hundred square feet to ¼ to 2 acres in size or larger No matter the size the same drip characteristics are maintained Can be used for more than residential flows…
  37. 37.  FAST® is installed in concrete tank under this driveway. FAST® tank covers are within 6”of grade. The first photograph shows tank covers exposed for service, the second photograph is with the seashells brushed back over tank covers for concealment. FAST® Offers Flexibility…
  38. 38.  FAST® unit was installed on a slope at this site. The unit is installed below grade in concrete tanks. The metal tank covers, which are brought to grade, can be seen here. Tank covers can also be made of a green plastic material, to blend in with a grassy landscape. FAST® Offers Flexibility…
  39. 39.  The FAST® blower is tucked into the landscaping done in the background. Or can be covered with a fake rock FAST® Offers Flexibility…
  40. 40.  The FAST® system can be located below a parking area or driveway. In this case all the tanks, including the FAST® tank are located under this parking lot. Septic Tank Covers FAST Tank Covers Pump Chamber Cover FAST® Offers Flexibility…
  41. 41.  At many installations, homeowners will place a mulch or flower bed over the FAST covers. FAST® Offers Flexibility…
  42. 42. Shared System Examples
  43. 43. Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Facility Greenfield, NH • 48,000 GPD • 40,000 feet Dripline • (6) Zones • Custom Control Panel • First Large Drip Installation in New England • Using GEOFLOW Drip Dispersal helped overcome mountainous terrain, poor soils, and concerns over environmental impact
  44. 44. Digging the Dripline Trenches…
  45. 45. Installing the Dripline…
  46. 46. Installing the Dripline…
  47. 47. Installing the Manifolds…
  48. 48. After Installation…
  49. 49. Controls Building…
  50. 50. Multi Home Subdivision – Harwich, MA  FAST and GEOFLOW installed June 2013  General Use Approval – local regulations required a Nitrogen reducing treatment technology on the property.  Harwich requires all shared septic systems over 2,000 gpd to have a nitrogen reducing technology installed  However, no nitrogen testing is required for this site
  51. 51. Individual System Subdivsion– Seekonk, MA  80 Single Family Homes  28 FAST systems to be installed – approx. 22 to date  Individual systems  Proximity to a Seekonk watershed and conservation lands required the use of denitrification treatment systems on 40% of the homes built.  FAST was chosen as a reliable, cost effective option  Due to FAST’s performance history and the General Use Denitrification Permit, the Seekonk BOH did not require nitrogen testing
  52. 52. FAST Covers FAST Blower
  53. 53. Townhouse Development – Duxbury, MA  Installed in 2011/2012  Provisional Use Permit  Site is located in a DEP Zone II designated nitrogen sensitive area  Using a FAST system allowed for:  550 gpd/acre – vs. 440 gpd acre with a traditional system – allowed for more bedrooms onsite  FAST is located below cul-de-sac/road – allowed for maximum utilization of space available
  54. 54. Condominium Delvelopment – West Yarmouth, MA  Seven FAST units installed starting in 2004  Each unit serves a building, which has multiple condo units  FAST was chosen for its denitrification ability as well as its aesthetic value  The site needed to maximize available space while maintaining the use of its common areas  FAST is located below grade with blowers and vents at the back of the property
  55. 55. For more information Visit