The Wastewater Treatment Plant Laboratory is a state certified laboratory equipped to perform all routine testing required by the regulatory agencies and is staffed by a chemist and the operations staff. The lab performs all analytical tests for the effective operation of the plant and performs analytical and microbiological tests on the plant effluent for the monthly Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) that is submitted to both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Samples for process control are taken at strategic locations to check the performance of the plant and to enable the operators to correct any problems as soon as they arise. Analyses performed are Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Ammonia, Nitrates, Phosphates, Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chlorine Residual, and Fecal Coliform. Samples are also collected and sent to a contract lab for routine testing of Nitrate, TKN, Iron, Dissolved Iron, Aluminum, Copper and hardness.
The treatment plant's sludge is hauled to another treatment plant for incineration. All waste sludge from the three biological processes are sent to the gravity thickener where lime is added for stabilization and the sludge settles and thickens to approximately five percent. The sludge is then pumped to our 4800 gallon tanker truck to be hauled to the disposal site.
Lansdale Borough has a pretreatment ordinance, Ordinance No.1743, as amended, to regulate the pollutants discharged into the sewer system. All commercial and industrial users need a permit to discharge. Class I users that discharge process water are monitored by the wastewater treatment plant staff. The staff does a site inspection and the industry's discharge is sampled and tested for compliance with the limits specified in the pretreatment ordinance. The fee for a Class I user permit is $200 dollars and it is a five year permit. There is a charge for 24- hour composite sampling of $100 dollars per day.
The pretreatment ordinance also regulates the types of connection of all users. Sump pumps, rain spouts, floor drains, and yard and area drains are not to be connected to the sanitary sewer system. This is consistent with the requirements of our NPDES permit to operate the treatment plant. These connections allow clean water to flow into the sewer system. This clean water puts an unnecessary hydraulic loading on the sewer system and the wastewater treatment plant. Instead, this water should be directed to a grassy area or to the stream through the storm water collection system.
Infiltration / Inflow
The Borough has been working on eliminating or reducing the volume of extraneous water that is leaking into the sewer system through breaks, cracks, and leaky joints in the sewer mains and manholes. The first step was to measure the flow in sections of the system using portable flow meters to prioritize where the work needed to be done. To investigate the individual lines a Television Camera and Grouting Truck was purchased. This truck has a camera that can travel inside the underground sewer mains to determine the condition of the pipe.
Testing and sealing equipment inserted into the sewer main with the camera can also air test each joint and if the joint has a leak, seal the leak with grout. The joint is then retested to check the repair. As part of this ongoing program we are continuing to measure flows in smaller sections of the system with the portable flow meters to target areas needing investigation by the TV/Grouting truck. We have also installed manhole inserts under most of the manhole covers to keep out rain water. The department has begun replacing sewer mains and laterals on selected priority areas in conjunction with the Borough Roads Program and North Penn Water Authority.