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July 1999
Wetlands Absorb Waste NaturallyCattails

A Different Kind Of Treatment Plant

     Everything is in bloom this time of year, including A&A's constructed wetlands project in Nelson County, Virginia. A low-cost alternative to conventional wastewater treatment, this system incorporates indigenous wetland plants to naturally clean the wastewater of a small rural community. The project, designed by A&A to be both functional and visually pleasing, has been running since November, 1996. "We tried to make it an interesting place so that people would want to go there, and it really is," said Gary Crouch, Blacksburg Project Manager. "It's full of birds and plants. It's just like walking through a garden."

     This method of wastewater treatment is unique when compared to conventional treatment methods, but also when compared to other constructed wetlands. While many incorporate a standing pool of water, this wetlands uses a subsurface flow system. In essence, the root system of the wetlands plants helps clean the wastewater by removing organic material and using it as a food source.

     Nelson County was initially considering a mass drainfield system, but this proved too costly given their soil characteristics. Because of past experience with alternative wastewater treatment methods, A&A recommended the constructed wetlands. A wetland system like this one is ideal for small, rural communities who have available land. While the cost of construction approximately equals that of a traditional package treatment facility, the costs of annual operation and maintenance are dramatically lower. For more information, contact Gary Crouch at (800) 763-5392.


W&L Wins Quality Award
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For Project Designed by A&A

     Some things are easy to take for granted, at least until you run into a problem. You might not think much about high-quality concrete and asphalt, for example, until the next time you plow through a pothole and flatten a tire. For Ken Taylor, President of W&L Construction and Paving, quality road construction is something to think about every day. The high quality commitment and performance of W&L were recently honored for their work on the Lebanon Bypass, designed by A&A.

     A&A extends congratulations to W&L Construction and Paving for receiving the prestigious state Construction Quality award at the recent Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Contractor-Engineer conference. VDOT presents only one of these awards per year to recognize a whole range of quality parameters. "It recognizes the appearance, final quantities, the texture of the asphalt, and the concrete work," said Taylor. "Everything is monitored, and VDOT goes through several phases to determine who gets the award." Because quality materials mean safer roads for drivers, the stone, concrete, and asphalt are all major factors in VDOT's final decision. However, the award also recognizes something a little less concrete, so to speak. "It's about really caring for the final product," Taylor explained.

     The new Lebanon Bypass allows the flow of traffic around the town in order to cut down on congestion. Taylor said A&A's design facilitated construction because it was well suited to meet these objectives. "We found that for this particular job, the design fit the project well," he said. "It was one of the better designs we've seen."

 

Highlights

Highpoint

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The Bedford County Public Service Authority Board of Directors (above) recently held a dedication ceremony for the new membrane filtration water treatment plant for the High Point community. This system is the first in Virginia to use this treatment technique on a surface water source, Smith Mountain Lake. See full article.

Blacksburg Human Resources Manager Paige Walters and Project Engineer Franklin Wagner (pictured above) attended a Career Fair at Dublin Middle School to explain different types of engineering


graduation capHats off to our A&A University July Graduates! Thirty-two employees graduated from Project Management 101, and 32 from Water 101. You too can become an AAU graduate—watch for your invitation to courses like Site Development 101 and Wastewater Systems 101. Or, contact Stacye Lucas at the Blacksburg office (800) 763-5596.

 

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