Daily, the sewer department strives to ensure that the sewer collection system and wastewater treatment facility provide our customers with a clean and safe disposal method for sewage.
The City of Saraland is a rapidly growing community. As stated in the Vision of the City's Strategic plan, "Saraland is a growing community, committed to providing economic, educational, and recreational opportunity for all, in a clean, safe environment that focuses on family values." One aspect of this commitment is sanitary sewer service. The City's sanitary sewer system has two essential elements; the wastewater collection system and wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) that serves the Saraland area.
The wastewater collection system serves approximately 5,600 customers and is comprised of over 70 miles of gravity sanitary sewer lines, over 1,300 manholes, over 11 miles of force mains, and 35 lift stations. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) has been added to all the existing lift stations. SCADA will send pager alarms to City staff when a critical condition is occurring at a lift station such as high water level or power outage. This allows staff to respond quickly to a problem to assist with preventing a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO). The SCADA also provides critical operational data which can be used to evaluate changed conditions in the system or at the lift station.
The sewer is transported to the City's Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) where it is treated and effluent is discharged into Bayou Sara. As federal and state regulations become increasingly strict, the City of Saraland must endeavor to meet all imposed discharge limits. As a result, the City completed an outfall relocation in 1999 and a major renovation at the wastewater treatment facility in 2004. In 1999, a new 30 inch diameter outfall line was installed from the treatment plant to Bayou Sara approximately one mile north of the Mobile River. The existing outfall line to Norton Creek was abandoned in place. The treated water being discharged to Bayou Sara Creek can better assimilate and disperse contaminants.
The Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) is located at 104 Station Street. The original facility was constructed in 1965 with a treatment capacity of 0.5 million gallons per day (MGD). This facility was replaced at the same site in 1987 with an activated sludge facility designed for a treatment capacity of 2.6 MGD with a short-term peak flow of 5.0 MGD. Due to increasingly stringent water quality standards and increases to the wastewater flows and strength of sewage received at the WWTF, the plant previously had difficulties consistently complying with the effluent permit requirements. In 2004, the WWTF was converted to an activated sludge sequencing batch reactor (SBR) treatment process. The SBR treatment process allows for varying strengths of wastewater and flows to be received by the WWTF while maintaining the biological process. The upgrades also increased the hydraulic capacity of the treatment facility to 8 MGD. The WWTF experienced a real-time test during Hurricane Ivan on September 16, 2004 when flows in excess of 8 MGD passed through the facility. The biological process and permit compliance were both maintained during this event.
The SBR conversion along with completed upgrades to other components of the WWTF including screening, pumping, disinfection, biosolids management including a digester and dewatering facility, and instrumentation allowed the City to meet its goal of providing quality services to the community and to enhance the surrounding environment. The renovation project was awarded Project of the Year from the Mobile Area Council of Engineers (MACE) and also won an award from the Alabama Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Alabama in the organization's 2004 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition.