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Wastewater treatment in Aiken, it is what it is

The pond 'complex' is shown here.  The structure on the right is separate, a bird bath.
The pond 'complex' is shown here. The structure on the right is separate, a bird bath.
Stephen V. Geddes

Those who have lived in the Aiken area for some time just might take exception to the idea that wastewater treatment might be needed in "our fair city," to borrow a phrase from "click and clack." Wasn't there a twenty million dollar treatment plant built in the early seventies to treat the discharge needs of Aiken and North Augusta along with a number of local industrial dischargers? Well, truth be said, there was and still is a very adequate treatment plant on the Savannah River near where Horse Creek joins the river. It's an Aiken County facility which has been called the Horse Creek Valley Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.

A clean pond makes for happy fish.
Stephen V. Geddes

The treatment facility pictured in the attached "slide show" is considerably smaller than the county facility, but it is important to those who depend upon it and it is doing the job required. This facility is protecting the water quality of one of the smallest "ponds" you will ever see, and it is keeping the three inhabitants of that pond happy and healthy.

It is also right outside the front door of this reporter's home. OK, so the ruse is up, and I apologize if anyone thinks their time has been wasted. The point is that the same technology that is used to protect our lakes and streams from pollution from our cities and industries can be modified to keep even something as mundane as a goldfish pond clean and healthy.

This small treatment system was a slight modification of the system put in place in the early seventies to serve the City of Columbia. That system, known as the Columbia Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, was designed by Wiedeman and Singleton, Inc., of Atlanta and Rock Hill. It incorporated "primary" sedimentation to remove solids from the sewage flow as well as products of the treatment system and generated the required "secondary" treatment discharge for the City of Columbia using a "roughing" trickling filter followed by a small high rate activated sludge aeration system with a final sedimentation basin.

The treatment system presented in the attached "slide show" includes all the features of this municipal treatment system except for the activated sludge aeration portion, that portion being unnecessary since the small pond being protected is both the feed for the treatment system and the receptor of the system's discharge making the pond/treatment system a closed loop.

Before the treatment system was started, the pond would often became cloudy and the fish occasionally would take in air from the surface of the water. After the treatment system started up, the cloudiness disappeared and the fish ceased to have a need for auxiliary oxygen. The treatment system was doing its job. Take a look at the "slide show" to get a better understanding of how this is done.

Also, should you have a similar need at your home, and should you wish to utilize a simple system like the one described here, details of the treatment system can be obtained from the author. An email will suffice (and the price will be right!) And, as always, thanks for visiting

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