Frank’s Septic Services Installs Big Tanks, Thousands of Feet of Dripline and UV System in Campground Project

Expanded Orenco AdvanTex system provides much-needed wastewater capacity for a popular RV park near California wine country

Frank’s Septic Services Installs Big Tanks, Thousands of Feet of Dripline and UV System in Campground Project

 The crew from Frank’s Septic Services sets one of the new AdvanTex AX100 pods (Orenco Systems) to handle wastewater at the Vineyard RV Park. Pictured are Sean Bonifacio on the JCB backhoe, Chris Naylor, Noah O’Reilly, Freddie Palomares and Ricky Alvarez. (Photos courtesy of Frank’s Septic Services Inc.)

It was clear the Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville, California, needed help. When the campground started, one Orenco Systems AdvanTex AX100 pod was installed to handle wastewater. Then the campground owner began expanding.

Technicians went more often to pump tanks, and it became obvious the system was overloaded, says Scott Noble, operations manager of Frank’s Septic Services of Vacaville, which maintains the system.

“We said to the owner, ‘You see us over here more often than we should be. You should think about adding more treatment,’” Noble says. The owner agreed.

Vacaville is on the west side of California’s Central Valley, near the state’s wine country. Sacramento is about 34 miles to the northeast, and San Francisco is about 55 miles southwest. Most campground customers are skilled workers who come for construction jobs or similar work with contracts that last a few months, Noble says. He’s seen auto license plates from Texas, Wyoming and Nevada.

The solution for the Vineyard RV Park consisted of two more AX100 pods, plus equipment to equalize and handle larger flows from the growing operation.

From the preexisting lift station (installed by another company) with duplex pumps and 2-inch pipe, wastewater flows into a 25,000-gallon Xerxes fiberglass tank. This provides initial settling and surge protection for the AX units downstream.

From the big tank, water flows by gravity into a pair of Xerxes 5,000-gallon fiberglass tanks — one of which is new — that dose the pods and also serve as recirculation tanks. A 12-inch Orenco filter on the outflow keeps debris out of the pods.

Effluent from the pods runs into another pair of 5,000-gallon Xerxes tanks — one of which is new — that dose the dripfield. First effluent is pumped through a Hallett UV system (UV Pure Technologies) for additional disinfection. Dispersal is done in 17,580 feet of dripline divided into 12 zones behind campsites.

Work around the campers

The Hallett system replaced another system with UV lamps inside a tank that was not well sealed. Noble says he frequently had to replace boards and other components damaged by moisture leaking out of the UV tank. The Hallet system houses lamps in long tubular housings that water is pumped through.

Noble added an additional panel for the new UV and the added zones for the dripfields. All controls are contained in a shed erected when the first pod was installed. Pumps, panels, risers and other equipment were provided by Orenco.

The Xerxes tanks were all set with a crane. The Frank’s Septic Services team used a backhoe to set the AX100 pods. They used a Toro Dingo TX 1000 loader, Takeuchi TB016 mini-excavator and JCB 215 backhoe to get the job done.

Because many campsites weren’t developed when the system was expanded, there was no difficulty in working around campground customers, Noble says. All treatment components and the shed holding controls are within a triangular space, about 100 feet on a side, and with campsites along each side. The owner shut down three campsites to provide access for technicians and equipment.

“We kept everything online as much as possible, and no one was forced to relocate while we worked,” Noble says.

The crew was there for about a week to install components, and then Noble went alone for about two weeks to finish small jobs, start the system and make sure it was working properly.

Installation went smoothly, Noble says. It was what happened later that posed a challenge.

Insulate the UV enclosure

Because space in the control shed was tight, the Hallett UV system was placed on the outside to allow space for access and maintenance, but the unit needs an air temperature of about 70 degrees F to operate efficiently. As winter approached and the days grew colder, the unit’s alarms tripped often as its efficiency decreased, Noble says.

The solution, Noble says, was to build some kind of enclosure and mount a small heater inside it that’s like the heaters used to keep onsite system control panels operating in cold weather. Aaron Skinner of Skinner Welding, who works on projects at the Frank’s Septic Services shop when needed, started designing an enclosure. But on a trip to a store, he saw a stainless steel storage cabinet that was almost perfect. He modified the cabinet, and he and Noble installed 1-inch hard insulation panels inside. They fitted it around the UV equipment and fastened the cabinet to the side of the equipment shed.

Noble hung a thermometer inside, and he says heat from the UV unit has been enough to keep the inside of the cabinet at the proper temperature. But Noble says he took another precaution: He added a thermostatically controlled Hoffman 400W heater. If the weather turns very cold and the UV unit’s heat isn’t enough, the heater will turn on. 


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.