BNL Upgrades Sewage Treatment Plant
BNL's Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) processes up to 1.25 million gallons of waste water per day. Treated effluent is discharged into the Peconic River, north of the Plant. Discharges are regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and are routinely monitored for compliance.
Some sanitary sewer lines at the Laboratory were installed as early as 1917, when the property was in use by the U.S. Army for Camp Upton. The Army constructed the lines from various materials, including vitrified clay, cast iron, and reinforced concrete. These old lines were repaired and upgraded by the Army in 1942.
The STP now used by BNL was built in stages by the U.S. Army between 1940 and 1944. It was first upgraded and expanded by the Laboratory in 1967 due to continued growth. The old Imhoff tanks, which had been used to separate sewage solids from wastewater from 1947 to 1967, were abandoned and all access pipes leading in and out of the tanks were filled with concrete.
In 1992, the Plant Engineering Division at BNL began a multi-phase project to upgrade the sanitary system, improve treatment capability, and prevent unmonitored discharges to the environment.
In 2009, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation proposed modifications to the Laboratory's STP discharge permit. A full range of options to meet the new permit limits are currently being studied.