Rebuilding Eden

Although named for the idyllic garden of the Old Testament, the city of Eden, N.C., has battled infrastructure challenges that have been anything but paradise. Formed in 1967 through the consolidation of three old mill towns and one sanitary sewerage district, the city inherited an aging wastewater collection system that has struggled with chronic sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and excessive inflow and infiltration (I&I) during wet weather.

Despite its best efforts to address and correct problems throughout the system, the city received an Administrative Order of Consent from the U.S. EPA in 2012. As cited in the order, the city experienced more than 150 individual SSOs from 2006 to 2011. These documented SSOs resulted in the release of more than 722,000 gal of untreated wastewater. Because the area encompassing Eden drains to the Dan and Smith Rivers, these overflows are of concern due to their surface water impact. In fact, the Dan River is designated as impaired and is listed on the North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources 303(d) list.

Initially, the EPA levied the administrative order to canvas Eden’s entire wastewater collection system. However, WK Dickson worked with city staff to negotiate the scope of the order, which resulted in a reduction from all 18 of the city’s basins down to eight, which significantly reduced the scale of the investigation and the cost without compromising the overall objective of the order.

To read the full article and the steps taken to combat Eden’s aging and failing infrastructure, click here.