An investigation of the operating characteristics and efficiency of a small sewage treatment plant

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


This investigation was primarily a study of the performance of the new sewage treatment plant serving Blacksburg, Virginia and V. P. I. during the initial period of operation, 1948-1949.

This plant, designed for a sewage flow of one million gallons per day, provides primary and secondary treatment.

Standard analyses were performed on samples at various stages in the treatment process to determine the efficiency of purification afforded by each unit. These tests indicate satisfactory operation of the plant in the reduction of pollution constituents of the influent sewage. Effects of treated sewage discharged to the receiving stream, Strouble’s Creek, were found to be negligible. Performance of Blacksburg - V. P. I. plant generally equaled that of several other sewage treatment facilities serving populations less than 60,000.

Supplementary studies in this investigation included: the effects storm water diversion into the sanitary sewage system; and the appraisal and correction of operating problems encountered in this initial period of plant operation.