Harvest season is coming, have you considered your soil health?

Harvest season is soon to be upon us in southern Ontario!

Dust will be flying as growers race to harvest their crops at the optimal time. Shortly after harvest, planning and planting for next year will begin. Be sure to consider your soil health when harvesting and planning for next year. There are a number of options available for growers to improve their soil, including:

  • Fertilizer
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Non Agricultural Source Materials (NASM) such as biosolids

Each nutrient source can help to boost your soil health and can provide unique benefits for your soil and the coming season. Each nutrient source has specific requirements for use under the Nutrient Management Act (NMA) that are important when considering which to use. Check out details for nutrient use here.

Wessuc’s primary recommendation is to pay attention to your manure storage. If your manure storage is filling up again, it should be your primary nutrient source as it also provides a great source of organic matter and micro nutrients to improve your soil health.

If you need help emptying it prior to any fall planting or field preparation contact us, we’d be happy to help with spreading. However, if you aren’t sure which nutrient source works best for you Wessuc can create custom nutrient plans and strategies in time for harvest season. Get started by emailing us at info@wessuc.com

Wet Well Maintenance and Design: What you need to know

It seems new subdivisions continue to pop up throughout southern Ontario.  As the population continues to increase, and before more homes are built, additional water and sewer infrastructure is required to ensure basic services can be provided. This includes sewage systems.

For sewage systems, Pumping stations are available in a variety of designs, with a plethora of options, to address specific needs. Smaller stations typically have only a wet well while large stations are often built with both a wet and dry well. Proper planning ensures the station is designed not only for immediate needs but in consideration of future growth.

Take a look at this article to discover some of the options available in station design.

Remember pumping station design can have a major impact on the maintenance and overall lifecycle cost of a sewage system. Once the pumping station has been designed and built you must keep in mind the maintenance of the system as well. Wet well’s especially have a complex configuration system that with poor design can be costly in wastewater management and septic issues. Whether you are designing a pumping station or already have one, it is important you have solutions ready and are prepared for wet well maintenance costs.

Contact us at info@wessuc.com to find a solution for your wet well maintenance or simply ask our advice for future planning.

Wet Well Maintenance and Cleaning Essentials

Proper Wet Well Maintenance Contributes to Sewer System Health and Decreases Risk of Sewer Backups and Associated Environmental and Economic Costs

Wet well maintenance is essential. Any number of things can cause a pump to fail resulting in sewer infrastructure damage, sewer backups or a spill into the natural environment. A recent article in Timmins Today, “Grease and Rags Clog Pumps, Raw Sewage Bypassed into Lake”, demonstrates how things can go very wrong with a sewage system and negatively impact the environment.

The need for monitoring and cleaning of pumping stations has increased over the past decade thanks to the introduction of so called “flushable wipes” and other “flushables” that increase the potential for pump plugging or failure. These items are, in fact, not flushable and whole campaigns have been set up to inform people about their damaging effects and associated costs. In addition to the increased use of “flushables”, new construction and cultural diet have contributed to the growing necessity for increased focus on wet well cleaning and maintenance.

5 Steps to Wet Well Maintenance & Cleaning

While there is no set standard when it comes to pumping station design or maintenance schedule, each station specific cleaning and maintenance needs must be assessed in accordance with the flows and sewage characteristics it receives.

There are 5 essential aspects to wet well maintenance and cleaning:

1. Wet Well Maintenance Safety Considerations

The first aspect for any maintenance and cleaning project is to ensure the project is completed in a safe manner. Wet wells are confined spaces and should be treated accordingly:

As wet wells often maintain flow during the cleaning and maintenance, extra care should be taken with gas monitoring as the gases in a wet well can change rapidly as influent is received from the sewer system.

2. Plan for Wet Well Cleaning and Maintenance

Each pump station has unique characteristics which will need to be accounted for. Some things will affect the maintenance operation, others may affect the safety procedures required. A wet well hazard assessment should be done prior to entry. Many municipalities have hazard assessments done for their pumping stations which should be reviewed with staff prior to well entry. Proper planning will tie into the safety, timing, water, and disposal aspects to ensure that the maintenance and cleanout activities are completed as efficiently and safely as possible.

 3. Timing of Wet Well Cleaning

Flows through a pumping station will vary throughout the day reflecting the hours that people inhabit those areas. In a heavy industrial area, working hours may experience higher flows, whereas a station servicing a residential area will have higher flows earlier in the morning and later in the evening.

Some pumping stations will have multiple wet wells which can be isolated thereby eliminating inflow as a concern. Smaller stations will have only one wet well and maintenance should be scheduled when flows are typically lowest. Most pumping stations have flow monitoring which will assist in determining the optimal times for wet well cleaning and maintenance.

Another timing consideration is the frequency at which stations need to be cleaned. Often a complete cleaning of a wet well is only needed 1-2 times a year. However, weekly or even daily maintenance by operators is needed to clean bar screens and readily accessible debris.

4. Water Considerations

Proper cleaning and maintenance of wet wells requires a water source to break up the debris that has built up in the pump station. Grease, plastics, hair, rags, and grit can collect in the station and require a high-pressure water source to break up, dislodge, and liquify debris for easy removal with a vacuum truck or submersible pump. If onsite water is unavailable, it can be trucked in to complete the project. 

5. Wet Well Cleaning Disposal

Once wet well clean-out debris is removed from the pumping station, it needs to go somewhere. Few wastewater treatment plants can receive the slurry/grit and debris from a pumping station wet well. Additionally, landfills will not accept material that does not pass a slump test (an indicator for overall solids concentration). Usually the material needs to be taken to a drying bed to solidify and then taken to a landfill for disposal. In some cases, it makes sense to process the material onsite, solidifying it for landfill disposal.

Implementing Procedures for Wet Well Cleaning and Maintenance Ensures Reduced Risk of Sewer Failures and Related Costs

To keep sewer systems running optimally, appropriate wet well cleaning and maintenance is crucial. Keeping the five steps to wet well maintenance in mind and ensuring that you have experienced workers performing the job will set you up for success. If you need to further explore your options for wet well maintenance, contact us; we can use our wet well maintenance expertise to customize the right plan of action for your facility.

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