Chick Hill Treatment Plant

Jerome Guevremont-Superintendent

Thomas F. Haggan-Operator

Dale R. Quimby-Operator

The Chick Hill Pollution Control Facility, serving the Town of Rangeley, Maine, was completed in the fall of 1996. The facility was designed by Wright-Pierce and consists of three new pump stations, three miles of force main and a new land application treatment facility at the Chick Hill site. The project provided the Town with a non-point discharge process designed to protect the chain of Rangeley Lakes from phosphorous degradation.

 The original design of the new facility consisted of two aerated facultative treatment lagoons constructed in series with a total capacity of five million gallons. These treatment lagoons were to be followed by two storage lagoons with capacities of 28 million gallons and 20 million gallons. The treated effluent was to be land applied on any combination of nine spray irrigation fields, each approximately 12 acres.

 Due to financial constraints, the scope of the project was reduced. One of the storage lagoons was removed, limiting total storage capacity to 28 million gallons, only three of the nine spray fields were constructed and the control building was reduced in size. The Town of Rangeley constructed the facility to treat current wastewater flows as well as projected future growth, but effluent storage capacity was limited to the current average flows.

 During the first year of operation it became evident that a winter and spring with above average rainfall would threaten to surpass the storage capacity of the facility.

 Wright-Pierce provided the Town with two options. The addition of a second storage lagoon would provide the facility with enough volume for extraordinarily wet seasons as well as future increased flows associated with growth. Furthermore, an additional spray field would assure adequate future disposal area. The other option involved utilizing conventional snowmaking technology to generate snow from the facility's treated effluent. This would enable the Town to reduce the volume in the storage lagoon during the winter months and store the frozen effluent on designated land application fields. The stored effluent would then be applied to the fields as it melts in the spring and summer.

In the spring of 1998 the Town chose to construct the Chick Hill Winter Effluent Storage and Disposal Facility. The new facility includes an addition to the existing operations building, providing space for the snowmaking equipment and maintenance. The snowmaking room houses a 75 horsepower compressor, a 75 horsepower vertical turbine pump, an air dryer, air filters and controls to operate the complete system. The design has also provided room for additional snowmaking equipment, and additional guns should the Town expand facilities in the future. Effluent and air piping to the snow fields is buried steel pipe installed below the frost line to prevent freezing. At the snow fields there are seven fixed snow gun locations. At each location a hydrant is connected to the buried air and water pipes within a four foot diameter concrete structure. The air / water hydrants control flow to each snow gun, and flexible hoses connect the hydrants to the guns. Snow Economics Inc. provided the hydrants and HKD snow guns. HKD technology has been developed and proven to provide maximum efficiency, ease of operation and low maintenance. These specialized guns minimize the air / water ratio, which increases snowmaking capacity while cutting potentially high compressed air costs.

The snowmaking system as constructed can convert approximately 250 gallons per minute of effluent into snow using any combination of the seven snow guns.

 Hydrogeologists from S.W. Cole provided modeling of the snowfields to determine the capacity of the underlying soils, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) agreed to the application of up to 14-million gallons of effluent annually.

The total project cost was approximately $500,000. Funding for the project was provided by grants from the MDEP and the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Office. A loan from the Maine State Revolving Loan Fund was secured for the Town's share of the project.