One of the most important aspects of any community is the comfort and care of its citizenry... proper management of waste is a priority - our team takes much pride in just that.
The Fowler Waste Water Dept. operates and maintains over 15 miles of collection system piping, five sewer pumping stations, as well as three pumping stations at the waste water plant. The WWP, a .750 MGD Plant, consists of a one million gal equalization basin, a nine million gal surge control basin, two Eimco Carrousel Oxidation Tanks (with two 30-40 HP motors) totaling 540,000 gal of mixed liquor in a broad spectrum biological culture that oxidizes pollutants in the waste-water. The waste-water is then settled into a 120,000 gal clarifier and the "RAS" return activated sludge is returned to the treatment after a resting phase, for more food, and the clean water is then sent to two smaller clarifiers, also known as polishing clarifiers, where an even greater clarity is achieved. Then it is off to the Chlorine Tank to disinfect the water and then in the final steps, after disinfection, is de-chlorination and if necessary post aeration. Flow level monitoring is done on a continuous basis. Both sludge pumping and a booster pumping station are controlled by state of the art variable frequency drive systems for precise flow metering with the ability to match influent strength with microorganisms in suspension in the treatment tanks. Waste activated sludge is stored in four concrete digester tanks two of which are used to de-water to reduce volume. A fifth larger tank converts from a trickling filter to further store and de-water for extended periods, before land application of the bio-solids, which also helps to further reduce pathogenic organisms to meet land application regulations. Six small concrete drying beds were added to the existing two sand drying beds in 2011 to help meet air drying regulations. A five year renewable land application permit is issued along with guidelines for land application by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The plant laboratory is utilized for control purposes used to determine the adjustments needed for plant control and to maintain compliance of the NPDES permit issued on a five year basis. All mandated testing by IDEM, as well as process control, is done five to seven days a week to prevent loss of control and to keep the plant operating as efficiently as possible. The NPDES permit requires testing of: Ammonia Nitrogen, E-Coli, Oxygen, Biological Oxygen Demand, Total Suspended Solids, PH and during chlorination season, April through October, Chlorination and De-chlorination of the Effluent Discharge. Comprehensive industrial waste studies were conducted in 1995, 2000, and 2009-2013 to reduce illegal discharge to the waste treatment plant.
Changing technologies also prompt the State and EPA to change limits on permits as newer testing equipment and science develops. The Fowler NPDES permit lists the Sewer System as 100% separated. The plant treats storm water from rain events only until such time as the remaining 25% of the old sewer system can be replaced. The capacity of the plant during dry weather flows is currently at 20-25%. As inflow and infiltration is reduced, energy is saved and the plant has more room for expansion.