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Barboursville, the “Best Little Village in the State,” Just Got Better

 Barboursville, which bills itself as the “Best Little Village in the State of West Virginia,” has just completed an impressive upgrade to its wastewater treatment lagoon.  What makes the upgrade impressive?  Try this:

·       Increased capacity of the existing lagoon from 600,000 gpd to 1,500,000 gpd.

·       Had no disruption of treatment during construction.

·       Total project costs of less than $250,000.

·       Completed all work exclusively with Sanitary Board personnel.

Even more impressive is that in addition to the treatment facility improvements, Sanitary Board General Manager Tim “Bo” Patton and Joe Peterman, who comprise the entire Sanitary Board staff, completely replaced the main pumping station serving the Huntington Mall, installed a new 200 gpm submersible pumping station, 600 L.F. of gravity sewer lines and 1,900 L.F. of force main to serve the Merritt Creek Farm development; installed a new force main to the Barboursville Park and extended sewer service to new customers, all within the last year, besides operating and maintaining the existing lagoon, six pumping stations and over 20 miles of sewer lines.  Except for equipment rentals, all of this work was accomplished by Sanitary Board staff.

The latest improvements to Barboursville’s treatment facilities began in early 2000.  The Village was facing increasing demands for sewer service from developers, and their existing aerated lagoon, which had been initially upgraded in 1968 with the addition of mechanical aerators and baffling and again upgraded in 1985 with the addition of a flood wall and an effluent line to the Guyandotte River, had reached its rated capacity of 600,000 gallons per day.  The Barboursville Sanitary Board initially considered constructing a new activated sludge treatment plant to meet their growing demand for wastewater treatment capacity.  The Board opted to improve its existing lagoon when a study completed by Dunn Engineers, Inc. of Charleston, West Virginia showed that the lagoon could be upgraded to provide all of the required treatment capacity at a savings of over $3 million to Barboursville and its sewer customers.

The project began with a detailed survey of the lagoon and profiles of the lagoon’s bottom.  To increase the lagoon’s capacity, water depth would be increased from five feet to seven feet to provide a total treatment volume of 25.2 million gallons and new baffling would divide the lagoon into six distinct treatment zones.  Once the profiles of the lagoon bottom were accurately determined, new “Director” floating baffles, manufactured and supplied by Environetics, Inc. of Lockport, Illinois, were delivered to the site and installed by Tim Patton and his staff, along with the field representative from Environetics, Inc.

Proper baffling is crucial if optimum treatment efficiency is to be obtained from an aerated lagoon.  The baffles must completely segregate the individual treatment zones, even when water levels fluctuate, and must prevent short-circuiting as water moves from zone to zone.  The baffles must also maintain a good seal along the lagoon bottom.

After the “Director” baffles were installed, surface aerators were positioned in each of the first five treatment zones; the sixth and final zone is utilized as a settling basin and has no aerators installed in it.  No new aerators were necessary for this project.  Barboursville has meticulously maintained their four  25 HP Smith and Loveless Model MA-25 aerators which were originally installed in 1968, and had previously purchased another six 15 HP Aeration Industries AIRE-O2 floating aspirating aerators to supplement the Smith and Loveless units when necessary.  By using five partially-mixed aeration zones in series, aeration and mixing horsepower has been kept to a minimum.  The 25 HP units have been placed in the first four zones, while 15 HP units have been placed in the first, second and fifth zones.  Three other AIRE-O2 units are held in reserve and placed into service when maintenance must be performed.  Timers allow each aerator to be independently controlled to further reduce power costs.

Disinfection of the lagoon’s effluent will continue to be provided by a combination of gaseous chlorine and liquid sodium bromide, and will continue to take place in the 3,200 foot long effluent line, which has recently been repaired by the Sanitary Board when flood waters washed out a significant length of 12" DIP line.  There is no chlorine contact tank.  Originally, disinfection was provided by gaseous chlorine, but General Manager Tim Patton switched to a combination of gaseous chlorine and sodium bromide to improve disinfection system performance and substantially reduce chemical costs.  Because the combination of chlorine and sodium bromide produces an incredibly efficient disinfectant, long detention times are not required to meet the fecal coliform limits outlined in the NPDES permit.  Even with the substantial upgrade in treatment system throughput, the existing disinfection system has ample capacity to meet the fecal coliform standards.

In addition to upgrading the treatment capacity of their lagoon, the Barboursville Sanitary Board is currently tackling a glaring deficiency at their treatment facility.  Required by their NPDES permit to provide treatment until the Mud and Guyandotte rivers reach the 25 year flood elevations, Barboursville installed a flood wall to protect the lagoon during the 1985 upgrading project.  While the flood wall was supposed to keep flood waters from coming into the lagoon, no provisions were made to allow effluent to get out of the lagoon.  River levels well below 10 year flood elevation keeps lagoon effluent from escaping to the Guyandotte River, and higher river levels cause lagoon levels to rise toward the top of the flood wall, damaging the baffles, aerators and the facilities’ electrical service.  It also creates a real mess that Sanitary Board staff must clean up after every high-river event.

To protect the lagoon and allow treatment to be maintained to the 25 year flood level, Dunn Engineers, Inc., working with Marcum Pump and Equipment, Inc. of Huntington, West Virginia, developed an emergency effluent pumping system for the Barboursville lagoon.  Using a 1500 gpm, 15 HP Myers submersible pump that will be installed in the existing concrete effluent structure by the Sanitary Board, General Manager Tim Patton will be able to manually activate the pump during flooding conditions and discharge directly to the Mud River.  While activated, the pump will be controlled automatically and then manually deactivated once flood waters have receded.  The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has insisted that the system be manually activated to preclude the accidental discharge of lagoon effluent to the Mud River at normal river levels, which is prohibited.  The emergency pumping system should be operational by mid-summer 2002.

By any measure, Barboursville Sanitary Board members Frank Sampson, Cecil Tatum, Chairman (and Mayor) Paul Turman, Sr., and General Manager Tim Patton are providing the citizens of Barboursville with exceptional wastewater collection and treatment services at the lowest possible cost.  Working in conjunction with Dunn Engineers, Inc., the Board has greatly increased the capacity of its wastewater treatment system without spending millions of dollars for the construction of a new treatment facility and without facing significant additional operational expenses.  With their accomplishments and commitment to continually improving their wastewater collection and treatment system, the “Best Little Village in the State” might also proclaim the title of “Best Little Sanitary Board in the State.”


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