Annual Day at the Lagoon was held at the recently upgraded Veazie
Sewer District’s wastewater treatment facility.
The Veazie Sewer District was the
setting for the day’s theme ”Introducing Complete-Mix to an Existing
Lagoon System”. The early morning, cloudy weather gave way to sunny
skies and warmer temperatures for the well-attended lagoon operations
seminar. Operators got a preview peek of the only complete mix lagoon
system in the state of Maine – and one of only several in New England.
day began with registration followed by coffee, muffins and donuts.
Attendees, 44 of them from as far away as Mars Hill, Jackman, and
Thomaston, were divided into 2 groups. VSD Assistant Operator Dana
provided tours of the
inside of the facility while VSD Superintendent Gary Brooks lead the
tour of the lagoons outside.
lagoon tour began with the newly constructed headworks building. Once
inside a newly installed JWC Muffin Monster combined with an inclined
Auger Monster set in the influent channel to grind and remove incoming
products. Around the corner in another room was the heart of the
headworks heating system and a new Sigma automatic sampler.
headworks’ building is warmed by a radiant heating system. We then
moved outside to the head of the newly lined Lagoon #1. Under the
retrofit this lagoon had been divided into 3 cells ( 814,000 gals.
each. ) via the use of curtains and has an operating depth of 11 feet.
The first cell is designed for complete mixing using a floating
lateral aeration system with EDI Flexair Magnum EPDM membrane tubes.
We then moved to the other end of the
lagoons to the newly constructed blower
building where 4 new 25 horsepower positive displacement blowers are
driven by Allen Bradley VFDs. Next we moved to Lagoon #3, the
final treatment cell. This lagoon was retrofitted with a modular,
insulated floating cover, which was manufactured by the Lemna
Corporation to prohibit algae growth. The cover is insulated with
extruded polystyrene covered by 40 mil HDPE. It is constructed to be
used with 2 floating aerators via the use of removable panels.
Dissolved oxygen levels are continuously monitored in all three
lagoons by the use of Danfoss D.O. probes.
VSD Assistant Operator, Dana McLaughlin
headed the tour of the interior facility and fielded questions
about process control. Next the group preceded into the office
area to view the various SCADA screens. Mike Eber of Maine Electric
led the discussion and illustrated the SCADA system. There were also
questions for Dottie, the VSD secretary, about billing procedures.
after the facility tours was Robert Larsen P.E. the design engineer
for the Veazie upgrade. After passing out a well-prepared
specification / photo booklet of the plant retrofit, Bob noted that a
key performance component will be the tracking of BOD reduction in the
first lagoon. Bob spoke about the design and operations of the Veazie
lagoon system. He also noted that there were not many systems around
like this one in cold weather climates.
He stressed the
importance knowing the influent BOD in designing and operating lagoon
systems. The influent BOD load of the wastewater should be determined
using sewered population and per capita estimates rather than relying
completely on influent grab samples.
Gary and Bob then fielded a question and answer period about the
Next up was a fantastic lunch served
outdoors under the sun and shade.
A brief business meeting kicked off the
afternoon session. Input was solicited from operators for locations
for next year’s lagoon Day. The customary “Ruksznis Raffle” was next.
Numerous donated prizes from CES, JWC, EER and others were drawn off
for those in attendance.
Left to right:
John Fancy, Karen Asselin-SRF Program Officer, Steve
Levy-MRWA, Ron Lambert of the United States Department of
Agriculture’s Rural Development Program
Financing was next on the agenda. Karen
Asselin, SRF Program Officer, gave a general overview of the State
Revolving Loan Fund. The SRF program is jointly administered by the
DEP and MMBB. The maximum term for the loan program is 20 years and
the interest rate is fixed at 2% below the highest rated tax-exempt
bonds ( net of all fees ) Karen noted that interest rates on loans for
communities and districts generally run between 2 to 3 %. Refinancing
has several key benefits including reducing term, savings over the
original life of the loan and combining with funding to do a new
project. Limitations to refinancing under the SRF program are:
initial debt was incurred after March 7, 1985
limited to 20 years or life of asset
limitations for loans that were made to provide match for federal
Karen said she is available to help fill out the loan
application form which can be downloaded from the Maine Bond Bank’s
Some things to make note of is that local authorization is required
and that the underlying project must be eligible. It is recommended
that people check their eligibility with the DEP before beginning the
Next speaker on refinancing was Steve
Levy of the Maine Rural Water Association. Steve spoke about the
various options and resources for funding and stated that MRWA was a
very good place to start.
Ron Lambert of the United States
Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program ( formerly
Farmers Home ) was next. Ron stated it was RD’s objective to improve,
develop and finance essential facilities in rural areas.
John Fancy closed out the financial
portion of the training session by illustrating two municipal cases in
which refinancing can save municipalities large amounts of money and
ease payment installments. John explained how refinancing a portion of
the long-term debt would save one facility $18,000 on their annual
payment. More importantly the savings in interest will be $650,400
over the 20-year life of the bond.
The sixth annual “A Day at the Lagoon”
was another success. There was a broad range of organizations
represented at the seminar including Jim Sohns and Clarissa Trasko
from the Maine DEP, Robert Larsen of Environmental Engineering &
Remediation, Inc., Rob Lockhart, Janet Abrahamson, Steve Levy, and
Mike MacDonald of the Maine Rural Water Association, Larry Frost and
Jeff McBurnie of Soil Preperation and Jerry Kamke from Sevee- Mahar.
“A Day at the Lagoon” is presented by lagoon operators in Maine, with
help from the Maine Rural Water Association and the State of Maine.
Five training contact hours are awarded for those who attend the
Any lagoon facility that would like to
host the “A Day at the Lagoon” for 2003 should contact Gary Brooks via
phone at (207) 942-1536 or via email at
Photos of the Day
You may click on the images
for a larger size.