Wetland Treatment System Feasibility Study

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Lee, Billy
Stuber, Larry M.
Hatcher, Kathryn J.
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Enhanced ecological awareness in the last decade has led to expanded governmental regulation of society's discarded wastes. In 1989, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division (EPD) imposed a mandate for no increase in organic wastewater loading to the Savannah River from current and future point source discharges. This has initiated the necessity for implementing new and innovative technology in all areas of waste management. Concurrently, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began exercising its jurisdictional authority under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act to regulate all dredge and fill activity within a wetland area. Approximately 70% of the undeveloped area in Chatham County falls into this category. These environmental issues which are impacting growth in the Savannah Metropolitan Community have prompted a study as to the feasibility of using wetlands as a means of advanced wastewater treatment. Significant benefits could be realized through the use of a wetlands treatment system by restoring disturbed wetland areas and/or by achieving an effluent water quality that has no statistical difference to the natural quality of the receiving stream. The Travis Field district of Chatham Counry has been targeted as a potential growth area. This tract, which covers the north and western parts of the County, is relatively undeveloped with an industrial park and a new access highway (Jimmy DeLoach Parkway) in the design stages. The wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) which services this area is currently at its design load capacity, thus, necessitating rehabilitation. The Wastewater Plan calls for an increase in the facility's capacity to 3 MGD. The recently imposed restriction on wastewater loadings to the river will require the WWTF to increase the quality of its discharge by three fold from 30 mg/1 to 10 mg/1 BOD[5]. The potential for growth and the necessity of upgrading wastewater treatment requirements make Travis Field service district an attractive area for a wetlands treatment system.
Sponsored by U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
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