Designer/Engineer Newsletter for Septic Systems and Wastewater Treatment

12/12/2012 Update

AdvanTex Installed in "Middle-Earth"

The Hobbit's New Zealand movie set now has a new pub (lt) open to tourists, served by an AdvanTex AX100 WWTS (rt) that was designed by Brent Hawthorn (ctr), of Innoflow Technologies. 

"The Hobbit" — Peter Jackson's new blockbuster — has its worldwide release this weekend, and Orenco's AdvanTex Wastewater Treatment System had a "bit part" to play. Innoflow Technologies, Orenco's New Zealand distributors, were contracted to design an AdvanTex AX100 Treatment System for the New Zealand farm where The Hobbit was filmed, now a permanent tour site. "The movie set has numerous 'Hobbit Holes' and, now, a brand new pub, which was officially opened last week by the Prime Minister," said Brent Hawthorn, Innoflow's Senior Design Engineer. "The AdvanTex Treatment Plant serves the pub. Permits and flows were handled by outside engineer Alistair Osmond. The plant includes a grease trap, septic tank, buffer <surge> tank, two AX100 units, TCOM telemetry panel, and drip irrigation to a sheep paddock." The system will be landscaped shortly. If you're planning a trip to New Zealand, click here to find out more about "Hobbiton Movie Set Tours" and, since Hobbits like to eat, be sure to check out the new pub, too.

Prefab Fiberglass Shelters are 8' high and come in lengths up to 42'.
Distributors MexWater in Mexico and F&S Engeharia de Sistemas in Brazil contributed greatly to our international web portal.

NEW Multi-Purpose Shelters

At WEFTEC, Orenco displayed an enormous map of international projects, an AX-Mobile diorama, and a refrigerator-sized custom control panel. But it was the full-scale cutaway of our new prefab Fiberglass Shelter that drew the crowds. These versatile structures are made of foam-core fiberglass walls, closed-molded in a single piece to ensure a watertight, seamless bond. All the inside and outside surfaces are then protected with a polyester gelcoat for continuous outdoor exposure. That means our Shelters are super-strong, light-weight, insulated, and corrosion-resistant. Orenco Fiberglass Shelters have all sorts of applications, but they're especially useful for housing electrical controls, process equipment, and chemicals. For more information, here's an introductory Flyer and Spec Sheet.

¡Hola! ... Bom Dia ... Bonjour!

With the help of our international business partners, Orenco launched an international area of its website last summer that includes web pages in Spanish, Portuguese, and French. "International sales have increased dramatically despite the economic downturn, and we've had record sales in three of the past four years," said Geoff Salthouse, International Business Manager. "We wanted to make it easier for these customers to find us and do a better job of communicating with them." According to Project Manager Kirk Wimber, "It's working. Calls are coming in straight to our extensions. And, since we have distribution relationships in 22 countries, we're able to forward most of them on." To check out our international web portal, click here. To find an international distributor, click here.

Join Us In January

Orenco is offering seven full days of training in January at its Sutherlin, Oregon, headquarters. Courses include the science and practice of designing for effective WWT, regardless of technology; effluent sewer design, installation, operation, and management; AdvanTex installation, operation, and maintenance; and everything you ever wanted to know about wastewater control panels and high-head turbine effluent pumps. For more information, click here. To register, click here.

Articles Help Sales

Feature stories in professional publications have "third-party credibility" that can help in your discussions with clients. Nearly 30 feature stories have spotlighted Orenco's projects and products over this past year, in a wide variety of publications. A number of these articles described Orenco Effluent Sewers, commercial AdvanTex Treatment Systems, and AX-Mobile Treatment Systems. Most of the publications maintain online archives that you can direct your clients to. Here's a sampling of articles and links to online archives:

Orenco Effluent Sewers

Effluent-Only Sewers Offer Alternative to Traditional Systems
WaterWorld®, August 2012

Small Infrastructure, Big Results 
Water & Wastes Digest, November 2012

Creating a Scalable Solution for a PEI Tourist Town 
Environmental Science & Engineering, January 2012

AdvanTex Commercial/Mobile Treatment Systems

AX100s — Municipal

Attached Growth Treatment Offers Higher Treatment at Lower Costs
Water Environment & Technology, October 2012

AX-Mobiles — Mining Camp

To The Ends of the Earth 
Modern Pumping Today, August 2012

AX20s — Restaurant

Perfect Union 
Onsite Installer, June 2012

7/6/2012 Update

Find Us At WEFTEC, For Less

The "Early-Bird Registration" deadline for WEFTEC is July 13. After that date, registration jumps from $775 to $925. Hotel costs jump up, too. So, if you plan to visit us in New Orleans, you still have time to do it for less.

You'll find ORENCO at BOOTH #4034, in Hall F, from October 1-3.

Also, if you read the following article about Sewer System Cost Comparisons, you'll be well prepared to play our WEFTEC "Sewer System Cost Comparisons" quiz. See you there!


Sewer Comparisons Available

True or False?

"Effluent sewer systems may cost less to install than other sewer systems, but they cost more to maintain."

At Orenco, we sometimes hear this statement from people in the wastewater industry who are not familiar with O&M data for effluent sewers. In the past, it's been hard to find this kind of information because utilities collect O&M data in many different ways, especially smaller utilities with part-time operators. 

Even so, now that effluent sewers have been installed and operated for more than 50 years, and Orenco® Effluent Sewers for more than 30 years, good data is emerging. At Orenco, we have a number of documents that can help communities and their wastewater consultants compare ALL the costs -- the "Life Cycle Costs" -- of various sewer technologies. That way, they can make an informed choice about their options and plan a sewer project that solves their wastewater problems at an affordable price. 

For example, WERF (Water Environment Research Foundation) offers cost models for four different types of sewers, including both total installation costs AND annual O&M costs. These cost models show that gravity sewer installations cost, at a minimum, ~150% more than effluent sewer installations. And annual O&M costs for the two technologies are about the same. (See Table 3 in the "effluent sewer installations" and "gravity sewer installations" links.)

Orenco has developed its own charts that compare features and installation costs for effluent sewers, gravity sewers, and grinder sewers. Check them out.

Orenco has also developed an O&M Fact Sheet showing that the O&M and R&R costs for the on-lot components of an Orenco Effluent Sewer system typically average just $10/month.

In addition, Orenco recently presented a "Wastewater Collection Systems Comparison" talk in Crete, to the 2012 Wastewater Purification & Reuse International Conference. Here's an interesting comparison chart from that paper.

Finally, it's important to know that, because solids stay in the on-lot tank for primary treatment, effluent sewers lend themselves to use of a low-cost, low-maintenance technology for final treatment. Treatment plants can be sized up to 90% smaller than with other technologies, and use very little power. For example, Orenco's AdvanTex® Treatment Systems use LESS THAN 2.5 kWh PER 1000 TREATED GALLONS. Compare this to other treatment technologies:

If you would like reproducible, "cut and paste" versions of any of these documents for your proposals, call 800-348-9843 or +1 541 459 4449 and ask for your regional engineer.


6/15/2012 Update

Portable Storage Tanks ... ANYWHERE!

Orenco's portable T-Max Tanks can be installed above-ground or in-ground. They're made of corrosion-resistant fiberglass and are completely watertight. 4"(100-mm) foam-cored walls can withstand temps of -60 degrees to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (-51 degrees to 51 Celsius). That's why T-Max Tanks have been installed from Canada to the Caribbean.


  • chemical storage
  • water storage
  • sludge storage
  • wastewater storage
  • wastewater treatment ... and more

T-Max Tanks come in a range of sizes, from 300 - 15,000 gallons (1m3 - 57m3). Click here for a Technical Data Sheet with all the specs.

Note! Numerous add-ons are available: catwalks, pre-installed pump packages, controls, anti-buoyancy devices, and custom colors. Call 800-348-9843 or +1 541 459 4449 and tell us about your project.

AdvanTex® Drawings ... ANYWHERE!Advantex Drawings

No matter where you are, you can now get fast online access to the most current version of ALL residential AdvanTex drawings -- both standard and region-specific -- to help you specify our award-winning AdvanTex Treatment Systems. It's part of a complete upgrade to the Residential AdvanTex Design Binder that combines all AX20 AND AX-RT design information into a single standardized package, while eliminating the drawings CD.

Instead of a CD, all the drawings are now on Orenco's online "Document Library," in both pdf and dwg format. And you can go straight to them by using a "Quick-Link" that's at the bottom of the Doc Library's "Search" page. You won't see this "Quick-Link," though, unless you have the "Advanced" level of access to the Doc Library. If you don't see it, just re-register and select "Advanced" access, when prompted. Try it out and give us a call if you need assistance: 800-348-9843. We'd be glad to help.


New Tank Adapter Now Available

Orenco has developed a new tank adapter that makes it easy to get a continuous watertight joint when attaching a 24" (600-mm) riser. The PRTA24-2 is made of ABS and is cast right into a concrete tank. Click here to see a short video showing the use of the PRTA24-2 in a tank-build.

Then, when you're ready to attach a riser, just place a single bead of
adhesive in the molded adapter channel and insert the riser into the channel. That's it. Done and done, with a fast watertight connection. Click here for
installation instructions, with photos.

Rural Alabama Utility a National Model

Since 2002, South Alabama Utilities in Mobile, AL, has developed 60 miles (97 km) of effluent sewers that have brought the utility additional customers and revenue. "To compete for new development, we felt it was essential to make sewers available in areas where we already had water infrastructure in place," said SAU's Executive Director.

The utility's 60 miles (97 km) of interconnected Orenco Effluent Sewers now serve 47 subdivisions, and 3,500 homes have been connected, along with schools, apartment buildings, and businesses. Each residential connection typically yields an average of $35 in monthly service fees. Filtered effluent from these homes and businesses then flows to 14 DWT plants that include about 150 of Orenco's AdvanTex textile treatment units.

South Alabama Utility's systems are toured by out-of-area groups and have become the subject of classes, workshops, seminars, and articles. For more information, read our completely updated
South Alabama Utilities Case Study.


3/12/2012 Update

New AX100 Lid Latches Speed Installation/Service

For people who work with AdvanTex AX100 wastewater treatment systems, opening and closing multiple AX100 pods just got faster and easier. Within the next month, Orenco will begin shipping AX100 pods with a new self-adjusting, “captive” lid latch system. (See illustration.)

The new latches use “captive” screws in the pod lid and captive, self-locating nuts and retainers on the lip of the pod to provide fast, easy access into an AX100. Each latch takes just four turns of the molded quick-turn wrench (included) to fully open or close. And the self-locating, permanently mounted latches reduce alignment errors and eliminate lost bolts. Plus the oversized hex sockets provide a secure, tamper-proof latching mechanism.

These new lid latches were designed based on feedback provided by AdvanTex® installers and operators. Call your local AdvanTex Dealer -- or call Orenco, 800-348-9843 -- for more information.

Angola Hospital Needed Low-Maintenance WWTS and Fast Turnaround

Angola LNG, a consortium that refines byproducts from offshore oil drilling in Africa, is investing in community development around Soyo, the site of the consortium's production and shipping facilities. One of Angola LNG's latest community development projects is the Soyo Hospital.

Early on, an activated sludge plant had been selected to treat the new hospital's wastewater, but Gary Bridier, the Special Projects Construction Superintendent, had concerns. Bridier knew that the energy, chemical, and maintenance needs of the plant were unreasonable, given local resources.

While researching alternatives, Bridier visited South Alabama Utilities (SAU), where a number of low-maintenance Orenco Effluent Sewer Systems and AdvanTex Treatment Systems have been operating for nine years. AdvanTex systems use passive biological treatment processes, are extremely energy efficient, require no chemical additives, and need only a part-time operator.

After seeing the benefits of AdvanTex firsthand, Bridier realized this was exactly what the hospital project needed. Subsequently, the system was sized and specified, including two Orenco T-Max tanks followed by two of Orenco's AX-Max treatment units. Because of the unique characteristics of hospital waste, effluent then goes through two Hallett commercial-scale disinfection units (manufactured by UV Pure), prior to being discharged to a local stream.

"The Soyo Hospital project involved a great deal of coordination," said Ted Kulongoski, the Orenco engineer who oversaw the start-up. "From shipping issues to customs paperwork to translations, a lot of pieces came together to make this work. For example, installation documents and touch screens for the control panels were provided in both Portuguese and English." Even so, the system was shipped in September,  just five-and-a-half weeks after the purchase order was received.

Documentary Highlights Orenco's Nutrient-Reduction Technologies

Orenco's nutrient-reducing collection and treatment systems are highlighted in Part 1 of a new, 3-part documentary titled "Bloom: The Emergence of Ecological Design." This documentary focuses on solutions to phosphorus pollution of Lake Champlain, Vermont, and includes expert commentary by Mary Clark regarding Orenco STEP Systems and AdvanTex Treatment Systems. To order your copy, go to

10 Orenco Projects "In the News"

Over the past several months, 10 Orenco commercial and municipal projects have been written up in various publications. Mouse over the dots on this map to get information about the project, project engineer, and publication. Click on the dots to view the write-up.

The Community of Victoria, PEI. Engineer: Kelly Galloway, Engineering Technologies Canada. Feb. 2012 Environmental Science & Engineering The Community of Victoria, PEI. Engineer: Kelly Galloway, Engineering Technologies Canada. Dec. 2011 Pollution Equipment News Castle Resources Miner's Camp, Stewart, Canada. Engineer: Eeric Lilles, Bulkley Valley Engineering. March 2012 Gas, Oil & Mining Contractor Cape Perpetua Campground, Oregon Coast. Engineer: Cascade Design Professionals. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter Presqu'ile Winery, Santa Maria, CA. Engineer: Summit Engineering. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter Camp Fox, Catalina, CA. Engineer: Inland Foundation Engineering. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter The Jalousie Plantation Resort, St. Lucia. Engineer: Dana Ripley, Ripley Pacific Company. Feb. 2012 American Liquid Waste Digest Archer Recreational Complex, Cheyenne, WY. Engineer: Water Research & Development. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter Peaceful Valley Ranch, Rocky Mtn National Park, CO. Engineer: Bob Wright, CHURCH Onsite Wastewater Consultants. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter Sangre De Cristo School, Mosca, CO. Engineer: Crabtree Group. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter Mesa Verde National Park, Cortez, CO. Engineer: Stantec Consulting. Fall 2011 Integrated Water Services (IWS) Newsletter




12/12/12 Update

  • AdvanTex Installed in "Middle-Earth"
  • New Multipurse Shelters
  • ¡Hola! ... Bom Dia ... Bonjour!
  • Join Us In January
  • Articles Help Sales
  • Orenco Effluent Sewers
  • AdvanTex Commercial and Mobile Treatment Systems

7/6/12 Update

  • Find Us At WEFTEC,
    For Less
  • Sewer Comparisons

6/15/12 Update

  • Portable Storage Tanks
  • AdvanTex® Drawings
  • New Tank Adapter
  • Rural Alabama Utility
    A National Model


3/12/12 Update

  • New AX100 Lid Latches Speed Installation and Service
  • Angola Hospital Needed Low-Maintenance WWTS and Fast Turnaround
  • Documentary Highlights Orenco's Nutrient-Reduction Technologies
  • 10 Orenco Projects
    "In The News"