Dr. Innerebner was the contract operator in
responsible charge for Leprino Foods Company in Fort Morgan,
Colorado for more than 18 months. During that time, she
reduced chemical use, wrote standard operating procedures for
process control, updated laboratory procedures and methods, and set
upper and lower control limits for process control variables.
We've recently expanded our list of services to include contract
operations. Need an extra hand to cover vacations or to
analyze samples for a special project? Need an experienced
operator to fill in while looking for a full time person?
Proper operation and maintenance of onsite wastewater treatment
systems is critical to ensure good performance.
It is also an important way
that you, the Owner, can protect a significant investment. Having a
service contract with a professional trained in the operation and
maintenance (O&M) of onsite wastewater treatment technologies is a
sound approach to achieving proper maintenance of your system. Regular service visits can result in early detection of
problems that could lead to a malfunction. Early detection makes it
possible to take remedial action before a system becomes a public
health hazard, detriment to the environment, or a liability for the
No matter how small your system, the Operator in Responsible
Charge (ORC) through Indigo will be a Class A certified operator. In
Colorado, Class A is the highest certification level and indicates
years of professional experience plus certification by written
examination. We believe that all systems should receive the
highest level of care even when the discharge permit or system type
only requires a lower level of certification.
The discharge permit is a legal obligation between the Owner and
the State of Colorado. The permit sets limits on effluent
concentrations for various parameters and gives the rated capacity
of the treatment plant. We operate all of our facilities to
meet or exceed permit expectations.
At the same time, we believe that the Owner should understand
their obligations under the permit. At the beginning of each
new project, we meet with the Owner to review the discharge permit.
We'll explain any terms that are unfamiliar and establish
a regular visitation and sampling schedule for the facility.
We'll also review the previous three years of DMR and operating
data. The review will determine the maximum month flow and
load and compare them to the permitted capacity of the facility.
We'll confirm that flows, loads, generation rates, and ratios
between parameters are within expected ranges.
Without exception, all onsite wastewater treatment
systems require some level of service.
However, the frequency of
service activities is typically determined by five factors:
Regulations (Discharge Permit)
Required Sampling Frequency
Technology / System Complexity
Wastewater Source or Use
Regularly scheduled visits include routine
maintenance, opening and checking all system components for proper
operation, recording of sludge depths in septic and grease tanks,
recording of flows, exercising valves as needed, collecting samples
for permit compliance, and sending a short
e-mail report to owner regarding system status.
Site visit activities will vary
depending on the type and complexity of wastewater technology installed.
Maintenance is the action of performing
routine activities to keep the system operational.
This may include making minor
repairs or replacements to ensure continued proper performance of
the system. Examples of maintenance activities include cleaning
and/or replacement of filters, cleaning effluent screens, cleaning
pump intakes, cleaning the air delivery system, and scheduling
removal of residuals from tanks (pumping).
In a perfect world, all treatment plants would run smoothly all the
time. Unfortunately, every treatment plant experiences
emergency conditions from time to time that will require an
immediate response by the ORC. Emergency conditions may
include a clogged pump, high water level alarm, loss of power, or
equipment failure. Between routine visits, the Owner must report all alarms to
Indigo Water Group as soon as they are noticed.
We have staff stationed in Colorado Springs and Denver which allows
us to respond quickly to an alarm condition.
Required sampling and analyses are listed in each facility's
discharge permit. For most small facilities, composite
influent and effluent sampling is required once a month. We
schedule sampling early in the month to ensure adequate time to
resample if necessary. Indigo Water Group takes care of
everything from ordering the sample bottles to ensuring collection
of representative samples to delivering the samples to the
laboratory for analysis. We are committed to delivering
samples as soon as possible after collection to maintain sample
We contract with Evergreen Analytical Laboratories for sample
analysis. Analysis costs are included in our O&M contracts.
Accurate and thorough record keeping is critical to success in
wastewater treatment. Indigo Water Group maintains two copies
of all records; a bound logbook at the wastewater treatment plant
and a copy at our office. Maintaining a logbook on site
ensures that necessary information is available for review by the
Owner at all times. It makes emergency visits easier and
faster because the operator responding won't need to visit our
Indigo Water Group will complete and file the monthly Discharge
Monitoring Report (DMR) with the State. In the event of an
excursion or unusual event, we will prepare letters of explanation
for the State. We review all communications with the State,
including DMRs, with our Owners prior to submission.
Additional services that must be performed but are not included in
our service contracts include: (1) Solids Removal and Hauling and
(2) Annual Report.
Over time, solid material
will accumulate in the system and will eventually need to be removed
by a licensed septic hauler. For most systems, Owners should plan
to have solids removed once per year. Sludge blanket levels will
dictate the required frequency. Solids hauling cannot be provided
by Indigo Water Group; however, we can assist with finding and
scheduling a hauler.
permits require that an annual report of system operations be filed
with the State of Colorado. If proper record keeping has been
performed throughout the year, we anticipate the annual report
requiring approximately four hours to complete.
We are sensitive to our Client's budgets and offer a variety of
pricing plans to accommodate individual needs. Additionally,
we will work with you to keep total costs down by training on-site
personnel to perform some system checks which can reduce the frequency
and length of our visits.
Clients may choose between an agreement based on time and materials,
a fixed monthly base rate plus time and materials for emergency
call-outs, or a fixed monthly base rate that includes one or more
emergency call-outs per month. Contracts may be set up for one
to five year periods which helps you, the Owner, to lock in our
competitive rates. Contracts generally contain provisions for
increases in mileage and analytical costs, but keep our hourly rates
Capital expenditures such as spare parts, equipment replacements,
maintenance activities such as draining and inspecting tanks are not included in our monthly base rates.
Whenever possible, we will bring potential capital expenditures to
the Owner's attention early so they can be included in their overall