Should Your Facility Accept Septage?

A Waste Treatment Symposium in September will give small-community clean-water operators a close look at the technologies and project economics.

Clean-water operators for small municipalities that regularly accept (or are asked to accept) septage for treatment have a unique opportunity to learn about relevant pretreatment technologies.

The National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT) will host the 6th Waste Treatment Symposium Sept. 25-26 at the dewatering facility operated by James Penner, AA Septic Service & Rotary Sewer Cleaning, near Indianapolis, Ind.

If your plant regularly accepts septage, this is an opportunity to meet with some 150 other individual owners and operators to view equipment and options for dealing with septage and sludge. Attendees can also see how a town and a septage treatment facility can work hand in hand to treat septage and generate a revenue stream for the treatment plant.

If you have a non-acceptance policy, or if you have concerns about the effects septage could have on your operation, you can learn from other professionals about the methods they have used to provide the treatment and the kinds of partnerships that can benefit both a community and a private septage hauler. You will be able to talk face to face with other operators who have increased revenue outside normal operating budgets by entering partnerships with septage facilities.

The NAWT board of directors has heard about these situations from members and wants to promote septage treatment facilities and encourage partnerships between NAWT members and local communities. The Waste Treatment Symposium allows you to spend two days focused specifically on when to consider a treatment facility and how to partner up to provide treatment services.

You will deal with people who have faced issues similar to yours. You’ll also see in live operation the dewatering technologies that are available and talk directly with people who have used them. You will go away with a clearer picture of how your facility can operate better or establish relationships that can create a new revenue stream. There is also a special track to explore other avenues, including anaerobic digestion for energy production, biosolids composting, growing grass for energy, and others.

Classroom discussions will be held at nearby Camp Camby and will cover aspects of how to evaluate whether a septage facility is the way, what financial institutions will look for when reviewing a loan request, what the regulatory agencies will need, and how to select an engineer when the time comes to put a plan on paper.

You will learn from those already running successful facilities. Presentations will cover treatment processes, case histories, and process economics. The agenda includes a tour of an operating facility. Equipment manufacturers will be on hand so that you can explore options, weigh the pros and cons of different technologies, and see equipment operate with real septage.

Besides the educational opportunities, there will be extended coffee breaks, lunches, exhibits, and an evening reception, all providing opportunities to network with others in similar situations and get to know manufacturers and suppliers on a personal basis.

The registration cost, including a free trial NAWT membership, is $295. For more information, visit the NAWT website at


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