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Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base (MCB) is the U.S. Military's foremost amphibious training facility on the East Coast, and provides specialized military training to prepare troops for amphibious and land combat operations. Camp Lejeune occupies 153,000 acres, including 14 miles of beach on the Atlantic Ocean, more than 450 miles of roads, over 6,800 buildings, 50 miles of railroad, five water treatment facilities, seven wastewater districts, heating plants, shopping centers, and two municipal solid waste landfills. Camp Lejeune's operations and facilities support 144,000 people including Marines and Sailors of the U.S. Navy, and their families. From a standpoint of human activities and infrastructure, Camp Lejeune MCB has all the characteristics of a small city.

Wastewater from Camp Lejeune MCB is collected in a regional (base-wide) system and conveyed for treatment to the Camp Lejeune Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (CLAWWTP), which was commissioned in 1998, taking the place of seven smaller treatment facilities. The CLAWWTP is an advanced treatment facility that employs primary clarification, biological nutrient removal, chemical addition (if needed), secondary clarification, effluent filtration, and ultraviolet-light (UV) disinfection. It has a rated treatment capacity of 15 million gallons per day (MGD), and currently receives wastewater flows in the range of 7 MGD. There may be consolidation of wastewater facilities with neighboring governments, which could substantially increase its future wastewater flows.

Primary and secondary solids generated by the CLAWWTP are thickened and pumped to autothermal, thermophilic aerobic digesters (ATAD) for stabilization and pathogen reduction. Thermophilic temperatures generated by the ATAD process (in the range of 55 to 65 degrees C) reduce pathogens to Class A pathogen standards of the 40 CFR, Part 503 National Sewage Sludge Regulations (503 Rule).

Constituents of Camp Lejeune MCB biosolids have consistently been lower than the pollutant concentrations specified in Table 3 of the 503 Rule, and the biosolids also meet standards for Vector Attraction Reduction (VAR). Camp Lejeune's biosolids thereby meet Exceptional Quality (EQ) standards of the 503 Rule and qualify for unrestricted land application at many sites on the Base. Biosolids are applied as an organic soil supplement to various land-use types on the Base including forests, artillery ranges, a closed landfill cap, tactical landing zones, wildlife food plots, and other areas accessible to base personnel.

The program for on-Base land application of Class A, EQ biosolids has been successful since the CLAWWTP was commissioned. There have been, however, two brief instances in which EQ standards for the biosolids were not met, and alternate means of biosolids disposal had to be considered. Base personnel were concerned about the potential for other instances of these types, so a need was realized to develop a contingency plan for biosolids management, based on possible non-complying events that could occur.

Different types of non-complying events for biosolids would require different methods of management or disposal, depending on the nature of non-compliance and characteristics of the biosolids produced. Five types of non-compliance conditions were identified, and a contingency plan was developed for each of them.

During the course of the evaluation, modifications to the CLAWWTP were recommended to provide additional flexibility and “buy time” in the event of a non-compliance condition. More time would allow for exploration of other options, so that more cost-effective decisions could be made for handling non-compliance events. Examples of facility modifications recommended include piping bypasses and recycling lines, one or more additional biosolids storage tanks, and a second biosolids truck-loading station.

Cost estimates were developed for each of the options. Recommendations were included in an implementation plan, which is now part of the operating procedures for the CLAWWTP. The implementation plan will be summarized and integrated into other emergency procedures onsite, including an integrated Spill Contingency Plan for the Base.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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