In their continued efforts to comply with Pennsylvania’s Act537, the Upper Salford Township Board of Supervisors are making available to the residents, possible alternatives for sewage disposal.
At their February 7 joint meeting with the planning commission, Cynthia Lee and Rick Brown, of Wells Team, Lancaster, Pa, presented the AdvanTex System.
AdvanTex is manufactured by Orenco Systems, located in Sutherlin, Oregon. They presented four types of AdvanTex systems available: ranging from the AX20 - designed for single family residents to the AX MAX and MAX Mobile - designed for community and large industrial operations. Also included were the AX20RT and the AX100.
AdvanTex is an in-ground system that utilizes synthetic textiles as its filtering design. During the course of the presentation, Brown distributed samples of the filters to the board and audience. One of the major points of the system is its “small footprint.” It uses less space compared to a traditional sand mound system. Other features offered by the system include: low power consumption, routine maintenance and operating costs; capacity on demand; long life cycle; remote monitoring; and modular design. The modular design feature offers future expansion.
One item that Lee stated is that “The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved AdvanTex as alternate technology for wastewater treatment in the Commonwealth.” Additionally, it is the only DEP-approved nitrogen reduction wastewater system permitted in Pa. The system is also suitable for shallow water table installation.
Several times during the meeting Supervisor’s Chairman Kevin O’Donnell made it clear that all questions asked will be concerning the product and presentation itself and not about ACT 537. Since all the consultants used by the township were not present at the meeting, any questions or inquires about the legislation could not be thoroughly addressed.
Questions posed by officials and attendees included: Can the system be installed as new-only or as a replacement? What about a using the system as a “community-cluster” of residents and not the whole township? What are the costs?
The system is permitted by the DEP as either a new and/or a replacement for current systems and is also permitted for new construction. Lee elaborated on a requirement needed for the system to be installed by stating that the “DEP and the manufacturer require a water-tight two compartment septic tank in order for the system to function properly.” Two single compartment tanks installed side-by-side can substitute for the two compartment tank.
Both Lee and Brown presented different scenarios about a cluster setting, which included several AX100’s and/or an AX MAX being used at a perspective location on a smaller scale like a portion of a local park. In this case, it would not be necessary for the municipality to provide service to those who don’t require it. Costs range from $8,500 for an AX20 system equipment to $12,000 to $18,000 for equipment and installation of the same. The larger systems can run up to $70,000, depending upon capacity and function.
The modular construction allows for any future add-ons as needed. Lee said that the DEP requires a minimum two year service contract as a requirement for installation.
One township resident, Bob Hickson, expressed an opinion stating “That this all sounds real good; but, one size won’t fit all.” Both Lee and Brown responded by saying that he is correct. “One size doesn’t fit all. That’s why it’s important to explore many options before making a decision”.
At the close of the presentation and question session, O’Donnell emphatically stated that “The board has made no decision at this time to endorse any product or system, and this is just one option being made available to the residents.”