Chesapeake Bay protection initiatives, including, but not restricted to the establishment of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for streams within the Bay watersheds, led agencies to adopt new and more stringent procedures for reviewing and approving increases in surface water discharges from existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).
Wastewater TMDLs strictly limit approvable growth and effective capacity expansion within many community WWTP service areas. ALWI performs preliminary feasibility evaluations of the potential for developing and permitting high-capacity groundwater discharge systems, in lieu of public sewer connections.
Driven in part by the Federal Clean Water Act requirements to protect the Chesapeake Bay, a careful evaluation of wastewater treatment plant capacity and its relationship to future land use plans is now required.
In some circumstances, protective criteria can be achieved via engineering upgrades to treatment processes (e.g., Enhanced Nutrient Removal), and grant monies may be available from state and federal agencies. In other circumstances, more innovative approaches are required, including, but not restricted to replacing surface discharges with spray irrigation systems, pre-treating on a project basis, trading for additional nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) loading credits, and/or water reuse.
Representative professional services performed by ALWI’s wastewater division include the following:
- Soil Infiltration, Permeability & Infiltrometer Tests
- Monitoring Well Design, Sampling & Monitoring
- Nutrient Loading Analyses & Nitrogen Balance Calculations
- Groundwater Mounding & Hydrologic Mass Balance Evaluations
- Horizontal Hydraulic Conductivity / Slug Tests
- TMDLs and Chesapeake Bay Protection
- TMDL Planning Evaluations
- Pond & Lagoon Leakage Evaluations
- Permit Applications, Regulatory Coordination & Expert Testimony