New Jersey School Upgrades its Wastewater Treatment System – And Quickly

When St. Augustine Prep School in Richland, N.J., decided to expand its classroom, cafeteria, gym, and pool complex, it focused on maintaining the school’s historically strong environmental commitment. Seeking out a wastewater treatment system that would meet the school’s sustainability goals as well as the treatment needs of this 700-person boarding school were the major priorities of the project.

Shortly after going online however, school officials realized the original treatment system built for the expansion was too small. The school was exceeding its allowable flow and wastewater concentration discharge amount. School leaders knew they needed to upgrade the system quickly. The decision was made to expand the entire treatment plant while planning for future needs.

Water conservation, in addition to wastewater treatment, was also important to those selecting the system. In addition to an upgraded septic system, the building incorporates waterless urinals and low-flow toilets as further water conservation measures.

In order to gain approval to operate the upgraded system, designers had to meet the total nitrogen guidelines set by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The expanded wastewater treatment system was designed for a capacity of 8,000 gallons per day and a total nitrogen of 70 mg/l, whereas the previous system was able to handle only 2,600 gallons per day at a total nitrogen of 40 mg/l. Also incorporated into the system are multiple new concrete treatment tanks, the largest at 12,000 gallons. The existing tanks were incorporated into the design for use as a polishing filter.

The system features two new disposal fields, each with 450 Infiltrator Quick4 Standard chambers. The chambers are installed in ten 100-foot long rows. The traditional side-by- side bed installation includes a distribution box in the middle that feeds both fields. A forced main sends effluent from the tank to a two-way d-box that splits the flow to the individual fields, each having their own d-box sending the flow through the chamber runs.

The system is expected to handle the treatment needs of the school for the foreseeable future.

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About the Author

Dennis F. Hallahan, P.E., is the technical director of Infiltrator Systems Inc.