Ski Resort Expansion Serves Up Challenges

New Hampshire installer faced several problems installing a commercial system for a resort, but was up to the task.
Ski Resort Expansion Serves Up Challenges
Connecticut Valley Design's Mike Carbonneau operates an excavator at a job site in Littleton, New Hampshire.

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Opportunities to install commercial septic systems aren’t that numerous in Littleton, New Hampshire, so Mike Carbonneau immediately accepted an offer to construct a 3,300 gpd system with twin Advanced Enviro-Septic (AES) leachfields.

Carbonneau has the credentials. He is a technical advisor for Presby Environmental and consults on AES designs around the country. His company, Connecticut Valley Septic Design, has installed nearly 100 such systems. “It looked like an ideal project,” he says.

A 600-acre resort and farm in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, was adding an Internet café, a Nordic Center with restrooms, a 30-kilometer loop of Nordic ski trail and a staff building. The grand opening was scheduled for winter 2014, and Carbonneau’s crew arrived late that fall. They faced cold weather, freezing soil and snow beating down on them each day. Besides construction crews, the farm had 10 employees and a preschool with a dozen kids. The single work entrance created a bottleneck for human and equipment traffic.

Loggers were cutting trees and two excavation contractors with multiple machines worked behind them on the trail. To expedite their efforts and meet the center’s opening deadline, Carbonneau helped excavate 15 kilometers of the ski trail.

“This was the most challenging system I’ve undertaken because of its size, the amount of traffic and the kids, who loved us,” says Carbonneau. “They wanted to check out the excavators as we dug five 10- to 13-foot-deep holes. We swung the arms at half speed just in case a 5-year-old was behind us. They were constantly running out of the building toward us.”

The residential half of the system, for the farmhouse and preschool, had an existing 2,000-gallon septic tank. Carbonneau installed a 2,000-gallon combination settling/pump tank behind it. The commercial system serving the remaining facilities had a 1,000-gallon grease interceptor, a 2,500-gallon septic tank, a 1,000-gallon settling tank and a 1,000-gallon pump station with Champion pumps.

“All the traffic made digging trenches across the road to the leachfields a logistical nightmare,” says Carbonneau. “In hindsight, this would have been an ideal situation for a horizontal directional drill rig.” Despite the pandemonium, Carbonneau met his deadline and the facility opened on schedule.

Check out a full profile about Connecticut Valley Septic Design. 


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